By Dirk Nelson
Federal law enforcement officials in the Eastern District of New York are continuing to pull together information and records that will likely lead to additional charges being filed against Keith Raniere, the co-founder of the NXIVM. He is currently incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY – where, instead of being called by his self-proclaimed title of “Vanguard”, he is simply referred to as Federal Prisoner 57005-177. There may also be new charges being filed against various members of the cult.
But as the case against Raniere moves forward, it’s important not to overlook all the other people who enabled him to operate his criminal enterprise for almost 20 years. These people include various governmental officials in the Capital District – and a horde of attorneys all over the country who were willing to undertake unethical (and, in some cases, blatantly illegal) actions on his behalf.
To assist the federal officials in this effort, Frank Report will be posting a series of articles that are focused on these enablers. This first such article will focus on P. David Soares, District Attorney for Albany County – and one of the first law enforcement officials to become – by all appearances – part of the NXIVM criminal operation.
Soares has been DA in Albany County since January 1, 2005. Prior to that, he served as an Assistant District Attorney under then-Albany County DA Sol Greenberg.
Unlike most Albany-area public officials, Soares is not dependent on the local Democratic machine for his financial and political support. Instead, Soares relies on the backing of the ultra-liberal Working Families Party – a New York City-based political operation that has received heavy financial backing from numerous members of the Bronfman family over the years.
Shortly after taking office, Soares became personally enmeshed with the NXIVM cult. Prior to then, two of his sisters and a brother-in-law had reportedly been enrolled as active members in NXIVM.
Soares’ personal involvement began when he was approached by Clare Bronfman and her sister, Sara Bronfman Igtet, the wealthy Seagram’s heiresses. Between them, they have reportedly “loaned” or “invested” more than $200 million on behalf of Raniere since first becoming involved with the cult back in 2002.
The Bronfman sisters, accompanied by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger and former Arkansas Supreme Court Judge Richard Mays, met with Soares to encourage him to file criminal charges against Joe O’Hara, a local businessman and former NXIVM consultant who quit working for the cult when he learned that Raniere was illegally collecting personal information on Rick Ross and other “enemies” of the cult.
At the time they went to Soares, the Bronfmans – along with Pam Cafritz, Barbara Bouchey, and several other high-ranking members of NXIVM – were embroiled in a contentious civil lawsuit with O’Hara and were looking for some extra leverage against him.
Rather than simply agree to undertake an investigation of O’Hara – which would have been illegal in and of itself if it was done simply to advance the pending civil case against him – Soares took the extraordinary step of allowing a high-ranking member of the NXIVM cult and a long-time member of Raniere’s harem, to join his office as a “Legal Intern”. Although most such interns who work in a DA’s office are 2nd-year or 3rd-year law school students, this high ranking NXIVM member [who has since defected from the cult and who I shall identify only as “Linda”] was, in fact, a high-school drop-out.
While she worked in Soares’ office, Linda was given unfettered access to files and records concerning O’Hara – and her own “Xerox fob” to make copies of such documents. She was also allowed to draft subpoenas for additional documents and records concerning O’Hara’s business and personal finances.
In March 2007, an Albany County grand jury indicted O’Hara on a charge of alleged grand larceny. That charge was dismissed less than 90-days later by the presiding judge who found that the DA’s presentation to the grand jury was procedurally tainted and lacked sufficient proof.
But even though NXIVM and the Bronfman sisters were unable to sustain a criminal charge against O’Hara, they were still able to secure something beneficial by having Linda work in Soares’ office. That’s because Linda was able to make copies of various subpoenaed documents that were later introduced by the attorneys representing NXIVM and the Bronfmans in their civil lawsuit against O’Hara.
And, of course, Soares’ willingness to use his office on behalf of the NXIVM cult did not end with the ill-fated indictment of O’Hara back in 2007. To the contrary, Soares came back with a more expansive indictment for alleged “criminal computer trespass” in 2015 against O’Hara, Toni Natalie, John Tighe, and Barbara Bouchey.
The 2015 indictment claimed that the defendants had illegally accessed the server that hosted NXIVM’s website. But citing an unexplained “conflict-of-interest”, Soares chose to have this prosecution handled by Holly A. Trexler, one of his former Assistant DAs. (More on Trexler – and her service on behalf of NXIVM – in an upcoming post).
It was also stunningly ironic that one of the lawyers representing NXIVM in the computer trespass case – and actually the one who first suggested that charges could be brought in Albany County – was Mike McDermott, Holly Trexler’s old boss at the Albany County DA’s office.
Just picture this scene: Mike McDermott, having heard that the Saratoga County DA and the New York State Attorney General had decided not to pursue criminal computer trespass charges against anyone, decides that he’ll get his old boss, David Soares, to bring similar charges in Albany County – and to have his assistant, Holly Trexler, appointed as a Special DA to actually prosecute the case. Ya just can’t make this stuff up.
Except for Tighe, who pled guilty to the criminal computer trespass charge as part of a broader plea deal involving alleged child pornography, the 2015 case also resulted in the dismissal of all charges. This time, however, the problem stemmed from the fact that several of the complainants in the case – e.g., Raniere, Clare Bronfman, Steve Ose and Ben Meyers – had perjured themselves when they provided information about where the server in question was physically located. (Because the server was actually located in Saratoga County – which had refused to bring charges in the matter – Albany County lacked jurisdiction to bring any charges).
Hopefully, the federal prosecutors will find time to investigate if Soares and his ties to NXIVM, Raniere and the Bronfman sisters perverted justice in any way.
If so, Soares may be the first of Capital District enablers to be brought to justice for their role in aiding and abetting the Raniere/Bronfman crime machine.
Now Soares announced he won’t prosecute Marijuana Cases up to two ounces even when the cops arrest the people. Soares should be arrested for hindering prosecution, investigated by the Attorney General, and Disbarred. Curiously the day after Soares announced his refusal to prosecute people arrested for possession of marijuana the latest Blue Bloods show dealt with the issue and rejected shirking this duty. Until the law is repealed Soares is breaking law, yet ironically just a few years ago he was physically in the State of Florida trying to prosecute pharmacists there in Albany County for drug crimes (He LOST). This guy is a disgrace. He also tries to benefit from being part of tour African-American Community but he shares no such history as Soares was born and came from Cape Verde, an Island off the Continent of Africa.
Ali smiled at me on the way into court after I put the vex on her. She is falling under my spell now. Take that, Vanguard. I shall have the whole harem soon enough
Let’s take a trip back to the wayback machine and the Saratoga in Decline Blog 3/4/2012 shortly after the Secrets of NXIVM series was published by the Times Union
David Soares on NXIVM, You can’t handle the truth.:
Thanks for sharing that, Laura. I’m appalled at this – John was airing all this years ago and all the complaints to authorities fell on deaf ears. I hope this whole house of cards goes down. Soares included! Lock all these lying, abusive bastards up – including and especially officials who are complicit in prolonging the existence of this crap and facilitating the destruction of people who had the nerve to cross his worshipfulness Raniere. I am more and more convinced that John Tighe is innocent.
Dirty dirty democrats. The Bronfman family writ large has been a corrupting force in the world for over a hundred years. Their reign of terror is quickly collapsing.
Sara and Clare have nothing to do with the real Bronfman family. The powerful liberal brothers originally from Montréal are not going to have even a ding out of their silly throwaway half-sisters’ malfeasances.
Roger Stone worked for NXIVM. The cult has ties to Republicans and Democrats. Raniere’s vision is based on Ayn Rand.
His cult is entirely based on Scientology. Word for word in most cases. Every government official in power that has protected this cult has been a democrat. Wake up. Albany is controlled by democrats. New York State is controlled by democrats. The New York State AG is controlled by democrats. Every state agency that protected his group is/was controlled by democrats. The federal government was controlled by democrats…. until 2016. And look what happened in 2016… investigations were allowed to go forward. Wake up
Hey Low-Fi: Joe Bruno was a Republican. Roger Stone’s role was as a go between, Bruno and NXIVM. The cult had their hands into all political parties.
Further, isn’t is possible that NXIVM is not influenced by just one and one only prior train of thought. As in: scientology AND esg AND Ayn Rand. The answer? Yes. Is it that combo? Yes. Deal with it.
Without the flying monkeys who enable evil people, the evil people could never accomplish all that they do. These enablers are also guilty, and should be punished.
I really hope that all the enablers who have helped NXIVM throughout the years are reading these articles. I hope they are worried now. I hope they they will finally wake up and find some empathy for the people they helped to persecute.
I have no involvement with NXIVM, but I have experienced harassment by another group of equally brainwashed idiots. Without the flying monkeys who helped them, this group would never have been able to do all the cruel and illegal things that they did.
I know the people involved in persecuting me are also reading this, and I hope they are also starting to feel a little wortied. Keep posting these articles, Frank. It will be interesting to see if any of these flying monkeys will attempt to confess now in hopes of avoiding any legal action that may be brought against them.
Most of the NXIVM flying monkeys depend on revenue from intensives to survive, and since those don’t seem to be taking place much anymore, they’ll likely have to move on to something else. Hopefully.
Corruption has been rampant in the Albany area for many, many years. I don’t think anyone got any position there without going through Bruno, who even managed to weasel out of his corruption conviction.
Also, glad to see you use alleged with regard to Tighe. Still believing that was a railroaded plea deal.
I question whether anyone will ever doing anything about Soares because so many convictions would be overturned, and not all of them would be innocent people. It is really a raw deal for the people who aren’t guilty.
I hope Fate through the hands of the government razes NXIVM et al to the ground.
Fuck all of them.
To the ground.
Six feet under
And then sow the ground with salt, so that it is barren, forever.
That the DOJ reads this site. If they do not prosecute these kronies, I’ve lost all faith in the justice system
Tick tock, tick tock. Justice is coming for you.
Allison has arrived to court. https://mobile.twitter.com/AylaFerrone
Wow. She looks a little better. Hopefully, the food and rest is helping to break VanGrifter’s spell…
Her lawyers didn’t ask for the cases to be tried separately. No plea deal announcement.
It is a safe bet she has already burned through her retainer.
One bet I will take is that, if she is staying loyal to Raniere, she will violate her bail arrangement. It will just be a question of them catching her. One way people try to communicate secretly is through comment sections like these. She may still be talking to people, just not by phone, e-mail, text, etc.