O’Hara & Natalie: NYC Police Settlement over seized property raises questions about NY State Police policies


Joseph O’Hara was acquitted of computer trespassing. Why did State Police try to keep his seized computers?


Toni Natalie was acquitted of computer trespassing. Why did NY State Police try so hard to keep her from getting her seized computers back?


By: Joe O’Hara and Toni Natalie

According to a story in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, the New York City Police Department (NYCPD) has entered into a settlement regarding a lawsuit that was brought by a public-defender group, the Bronx Defenders, and the Boies Schiller Flexner LLP law firm over the NYPD’s policy of not returning property that was seized during the course of criminal investigations. Per the original complaint in that case, it was alleged that Each year thousands of New Yorkers lose their cash, phones, and other personal property because of the City’s unlawful policy and practice.”

Prior to the lawsuit, the NYCPD had been retaining seized cash and property even when the related charges were dropped or dismissed. In fiscal year 2015, for example, the NYCPD generated $7 million in revenue from unclaimed cash and the sale of seized property.

The New York City case is very similar to the 2-year battle that we recently waged to get back the computers and other personal property that were seized from us by the New York State Police back in October 2013. Those seizures were part of the “criminal computer trespass” charges that Albany County brought against both of us in 2014 – and that were dismissed via Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACOD) agreements that we entered into in February 2016. The case was prosecuted by Special District Attorney Holly A. Trexler who previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in Albany County under David Soares – and who now serves as a judge in Albany City Court.

As soon as the ACOD agreements were signed, we began asking to have our computers and other personal property returned. Ms. Trexler, however, refused to do so – and, in a letter to the then-presiding judge, Stephen W. Herrick, dated July 27, 2016, she vowed that we would never get our property back: “We have no intention of returning any of the materials that were the focus of the investigation. Additionally, the State Police have advised me that, before the electronics can be returned, all hard drives that contain the complainant’s information will have to be wiped clean”. (The “complainants” included NXIVM, Keith Raniere, Clare Bronfman, Nancy Salzman and several other High Rank members of the cult).

The battle over the return of our seized computers and other personal property raged on until November 20, 2017 – when the then-presiding judge, Roger D. McDonough, ordered the State Police to return everything to us “in their current form”. Even then, the judge delayed the return for an additional 45-days – which we interpreted as an invitation for NXIVM to intervene in our effort to get back our property (For reasons that we still do not understand, both the State Police and Judge McDonough started sending copies of all the filings in the case to NXIVM’s attorneys).

Not surprisingly, NXIVM’s attorney, Paul DerOhannesian, did, in fact, try to interject the cult into this process – and even went so far as to ask Judge McDonough to order us to return the computers and other personal property that we had finally gotten back from the State Police. Instead of simply rejecting that request, Judge McDonough informed Mr. DerOhannesian that “…any re-opening of the case would require formal motion practice citing specific case law or statutory justification for the re-opening of a criminal matter.”

At this point, we are considering whether to bring a lawsuit against the State Police and Albany County over the delay in returning our computers and other personal property. Whether – and how – we proceed will depend, in large part, on the outcome of the forensic analysis that is currently being done on our computers to determine what happened to them after they were seized by the State Police in October 2013 and whether they had any malware or spyware installed on them prior to – or after – that date. Once we have those results, we’ll be able to determine what type of claims to pursue against the State Police, Albany County, and the individuals who kept us from getting our property back on a timely basis.

We are also waiting for the State Police to respond to a request for a copy of its “policy” regarding the return of seized material (A FOIL request for a copy of that policy was submitted several months ago). In this regard, Senior Investigator Rodger Kirsopp has indicated that the State Police has a policy that precludes it from returning seized computers unless they are first “wiped clean”. If the State Police does, in fact, have such a policy – which we highly doubt – then it will be challenged on the grounds that it is in violation of the ACOD agreements we signed, several sections of the New York State Penal Law, and our constitutional rights.  

We are actively looking for a law firm to handle our claims against, among others, the State Police and Albany County. As might be expected, however, it’s difficult to find law firms in the Albany area that are willing to sue those two parties – which is why we’re primarily looking for someone outside the area to take on the case. Hopefully, someone will read this story and contact us.



About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Thank you to everyone for your words of encouragement and support. It’s been a long battle and not over yet. Several of the comments sounded like “inside baseball” and we would love to hear more. Do some of you have a legal background? Joe and I are still looking for a law firm willing to take this on. You can reached either Joe or me through Frank’s blog, or private message us on Facebook at Joe O’Hara and/or Toni Natalie.

    Thank you again,
    Toni Natalie

    #truthforkristinsnyder #nxivm #esp #jness #jnessing #keithraniere #DOS #timesup

  • Keith has the right to have the computers scrubbed. Why? Because Joe and Toni had lots of stuff on their computer that was confidential and proprietary. Joe was a consultant and Toni was his betraying girlfriend. These two almost ruined NXIVM. They told lots of secret things that it is not right to have told or legal. If a judge or a Special DA seems to favor Keith it’s because they are only human. They see injustice and lack of ethics and try to instill it into a corrupt system. That toni and joe got off shows Keith doesn’t own the system. It is deeply crooked and against him. Both Toni and Joe should have gone to prison for decades for what they did. They ruined NXIVM. Why ? Bexuse Toni was a scorned woman. And Joe was mad because they wanted another consultant. Simple. So they leaked info to ruin NXIVM. Hope they are satisfied. US lost more jobs to Mexico. Now the company is in Mexico and all the US people are unemployed. Happy Joe and Toni?

    • LOL.

      VanDouche is nothing but a con artist. Ethics my ass. There’s not a single established religion in the world that thinks sleeping around is ethical. If he was so ethical why’d he take off to Mexico? Because someone put a hit on him? Don’t make me laugh. So he decided to run away to a country that has had cities declared as the murder capital of the world? Bawahahaha.

      I hope he pisses off the wrong person in Mexico and gets what Karma should serve.


    • Pea Onyu, when they give out the Darwin Awards your’s will read. I DIED A DUMB TWAT WAFFLE. Thankfully, if you really are a disciple of Kreepy Keith and not just a troll, you will not be adding to the gene pool.

      PS If Toni was a scorned woman, why did Keith send his flying monkeys to rifle thru her garbage, harass her and lure her back? I do recall a judge stating Keith’s actions: ” smacks of a jilted fellow’s attempt at revenge.

      And how would you know if Joe and Toni’s personal computers had confidential and proprietary information on them? Rational inquiring minds would like to know.

    • Pea Onyou is a figment of a peadophillic imagination. I remember how this cipher was used in a previous response to call Alison and India ‘old’ and ‘wrinkly’ in an effort to celebrate el Chupacabra’s preference for the blood of Kids over Goats.

    • Hey…the PeePee troll is back. Lol

      Yes..I’m sure that if Keith was able to get away with crimes it was because the judge was human, not because he was able to buy off corrupt law enforcement. Sure.

      By your reasoning PeePee, if someone is a whistle-blower they deserve to be punished? Going after whistle-blower’s, like Keith loves to do, is a way to intimidate further people from coming forward to expose the corruption. He’s a bully, and his flying monkeys are brainwashed, cowardly bullies .

    • If you are real, you are one sick puppy following a very unwell human being.

      No one, and I mean no one, has that much shit thrown at them without some of it being true. Trump barely gives Keith a run for his money.

      Keith is a two bit hustler and likely worse.

      Ethical is not a word I would use to describe Keith Raniere.

    • Oh Pee-on-me, you poor blind sheep. Are you branded like one also? Are you part of his flock?

      How do you know who has what on who’s computers? You know Keith is a big fat con man & those closest to him will make up stories so he is always the victim.

      What has almost ruined NXIVM is Keith’s behavior. His lust for sex, gambling, destruction and taking advantage of people is what has destroyed what those who joined so blindly to help build. When they see him for who he truly is, they leave. That’s why NXIVM has lost enrollments and those on the tit have no job.

      He sells a fake mission. It has never and will never be his intent. If it was, his behavior would be more of men who are truly noble, not the con artist he is. Wake up little sheep from your deep sleep. He’s a con man through and through.

      Some day I hope you regain your life and follow your own path. Try investing some data other than what you blindly believe as reality. You may be shocked at what you learn.

      • Re. The Pea Onyou troll

        Hmmm…I think she showed up right around the time Frank mention PREA…. Ms. PEA Onyou, with her unusual “Eskimo” name.

        Read between the lines. …what is her real purpose here?

    • omg…you really are hypnotized or brainwashed or just lacking in intelligence. As someone who has known all these players since 1997, it’s obvious you believe all the crap they have told you. Poor girl. I did too. for a long time. Neither Toni nor Joe are the most honest people I ever met, however, anything they have done is in response to the evil and vile things Kieth has done against them. Kieth always throws the first punch and he means to cripple and destroy anyone who publicly disagrees with him. It is his achilles heel.He will only leave people alone who go quietly into the night and never expose his lack of ethics and abuse of power. He is a parisite in the highest form, a master manipulator who feeds on the souls of his followers. It is he who has betrayed all of his followers.It is a sad and demented thing to watch. God bless your soul and anyone else who is still mesmerized by this con.

      One has to wonder if Nancy has dissappeared?? Or is she sick with cancer like the rest of the old gals who knew the real deal and had huge ethical breaches because of their crimes against humanity?? hmmmmm???

  • Reading about this just reinforces Raniere’s oft-repeated claim that he has control of the judicial system in Albany County. How else can you explain a case where a Senior Investigator with the New York State Police works hand-in-glove with the cult’s attorneys to bring charges that have no substantive basis; a Special Prosecutor takes on a case that has no jurisdictional basis and then vows not to return the defendants’ property even though all the charges against them have been dismissed; and judge after judge recuses themselves from the case because they don’t want to get caught up in all the bullshit? And then the judge who ends up with the case, Judge McDonough, lets the State Police and NXIVM make arguments and submit legal filings even though neither one of them is a party in the case. The only crime I see here is how O’Hara and Natalie got railroaded from the start to the end.

  • I overheard Steve Ose and Ben Meyers talking about the fact that the State Police were allowing them to create evidence for the charges that were eventually brought against O’Hara, Natalie and Tighe. Still don’t entirely understand exactly what they meant but it sounded like the cop in charge of the investigation was taking evidence directly from them rather than getting it himself off ESP’s computers. Also heard them talking about what they had to do to come up with evidence that ESP’s server was in Albany County even though it was, in fact, in Steve’s house. Steve was getting nervous that they were going to get caught which is one of the reasons he moved to Texas.

    • What has always troubled me is the fact that the computers were in the hands of the state police for months before in John Tighe’s case they found “evidence” of child porn. I still believe as do many that it was planted on his computer. It would have been too obvious to plant anything on Joe and Toni’s computers other than malware and spyware and virus’s given their much closer history with NXIVM. John was the perfect fall guy to have stuff planted considering how critical he was of NXIVM.

  • Paul Der Ohannesian has lost of a lot of prestige in the Albany legal community since he began representing Raniere, Bronfman, Salzman and other members of the NXIVM cult. An old saying rings true here: “Lie down with dogs; get up with fleas”. You need a flea bath, Paul.

  • Holly Trexler got rewarded with a judgeship because she was willing to prosecute a case that she knew was a miscarriage of justice. Why else would she try to prosecute a case in Albany County that had already been rejected by the Saratoga County DA and the New York State Attorney General? There was never any basis for prosecuting the case in Albany County because the server that hosted NXIVM’s precious website was located in Saratoga County, not Albany County. But Holly, like the good little Democratic pawn that she is, prosecuted the case anyway. The problem is that Natalie and OHara were able to prove that NXIVM’s server was in Saratoga County despite all the cover-up that was put together by Steve Ose and Ben Meyer. Nice job, Holly.

    • Trexler took her orders on this case from David Soares and from her old boss at the DA’s office, Mike McDermott. McDermott, who was working for O’Connell & Aronowitz, the law firm that represented NXIVM in this case, was the one who came up with the idea to move the case from Saratoga County to Albany County. He should be disbarred for engaging in that type of illegal activity but, instead, he probably got a bonus from O&A.

      There are no secrets among those of us who work in the Albany County Court House. We knew this prosecution was bogus from Day 1 but figured that Trexler, McDermott, and Soares would prevail anyway because that’s just the way things work around here.

      The current rumor is that Der Ohannesian is preparing a massive new civil case against O’Harra and Natalie and several others. Hopefully, they’ll be able to fight back like they did in this case and kick his ass.

      • Hahahahahahahaha. No civil cases will be filed as no one from NXIVM will appear in any civil case as proven by their refusal to appear in NXIVM v Franco the so called “great injustice against NXIVM” case. Nancy Salzman gave an affidavit stating not a single representative from NXIVM would be appearing for a trial the company and Clare Bronfman had invested $15 million in pursuing. For perspective, $15 million is more than three years worth of NXIVM’s entire gross revenue. Reality Check – All that’s happening now is Keith and Clare are hiding out in Mexico waiting to be indicted, trying to guess how extensive the evidence is against them, and debating whether they should go into hiding now or later (how much money can Clare take with her?) or stay in Mexico and try to duck extradition.

        Those big civil case fantasies died when the New York Times article about DOS was published in October and were buried with the announcement by the NYT of the Department of Justice investigation in November. The latter sent Keith Raniere running, running, running out of the country. Judge McDonough will never rule against Natalie and O’Hara. As for possible corruption by the State Police and District Attorney’s office in the past? It means nothing about the future when you have the Feds in your corner and digging in hard. Ivy league graduate prosecutors, huge budgets, more investigators, tougher sentences, United States Senate confirmed Judges with lifetime appointments (no politics).

        • Agreed. Like Jim Jones and Wayne Bent before him, there will only be a deepening of his fugitive existence. It’s prison or an unnatural death for Keith Raniere: both logical consequences of his life’s work.

  • What possible legal basis does NXIVM have for trying to intervene in a criminal matter that was dismissed 18 months ago? The mere fact that the judge would even entertain such an intervention – let alone encourage it by given very specific instructions to NXIVM’s attorney as to how to go about it – suggests that, once again, the scales-of-justice have been tipped in favor of NXIVM in Albany County. I have been practicing criminal law for 35-years in this area and I have never heard of anything like this.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com