By Barbara Bouchey
Today, I am ending my silence. It’s time to set the record straight, bring facts to light, and defend myself.
I will begin by clearing up enormous errors by made by K.R. Claviger’s post A Few Facts About The Commodities Trades – And The L.A. Precision Development Project – And Raniere Owes Tens Of Millions Of Dollars In Unpaid Taxes published back in January 2019 about my $1.6 million commodity loss incurred by Keith Raniere.
The reason I need to clarify this – and set the record straight – is that I counted 18 untrue claims, eight inaccurate facts, and 9 statements that are, in my opinion, defamatory and slanderous.
Neither Claviger, or Frank Report contacted me for my side, or referenced easily available public court filings on the matter. Given Claviger’s legal prowess, and being aware that Frank speaks with me, it makes me wonder why this gross oversight and lack of fair journalism occurred?
Of course, I write with some trepidation expecting an onslaught of false accusations, and cruel comments.
These erroneous postings by Claviger, and others, have been deeply painful and traumatizing.
And studies suggest that once someone has made their “initial impression” of you, it is difficult to alter it. My hope, dear readers, is that you set aside your impressions, remain open, give me a chance, and after reading what I have to say, perhaps reevaluate your impressions.
Readers of Frank Report probably know I am one of the most singled out ex-NXIVM members. I am often portrayed in a negative light, blamed, discredited, and repeatedly accused of things I never did, even slandered by the legal definition of the term.
Here is why:
NXIVM & Bronfmans wrongfully launched 7 lawsuits and even had me arrested – between April 2009 and March 2017.
They falsely accused me of being the “source” in media/blogs, falsely claiming I revealed private confidential information.
They filed motions that I “violated” restraining orders, should be held in “contempt of court” and “sanctioned.” My attorneys advised me that I should NEVER post, comment or have dialog with John Tighe or Frank Parlato – so that I could testify that anything that was written there did not come from me.
I strictly adhered to that advice in order to protect myself.
I did, however, defend myself in the lawsuits I was dragged into and had to comply with numerous subpoenas and some 50 hours of being deposed.
This would not be anyone’s version of volunteer work.
Many of my court documents provided revelations to the media and the general public about the inner working of Nxivm and of Keith Raniere.
Many do not know or understand why I did not post or comment on the blogs to defend myself. Some presumed I was guilty. Naysayers claimed my silence equaled guilt.
A critical turning point came when Keith’s last lawsuit was finally dismissed against me in 2017 – and when he was arrested on March 26, 2018 – which all makes me feel “safer” to speak.
For the record, my very first dialog with Frank Parlato was April 8, 2018.
I refrained from sharing for 10 years in interviews, court filings, depositions, publicly speaking – and on this blog – regarding the unfavorable things about ex-NXIVM members or consultants, including those who attack me, because I believed we were all “victims” of Keith. And because I did not want to add further to anyone’s pain.
My focus was to keep my eye on the ball – to hold Keith accountable and stop him from harming me and others.
Unfortunately, my silence caused me further damage, as false narratives get propagated and since there was nothing on the record to refute it – – for the reasons I explained above – many people believed it.
I am grateful for the handful of people who defending me, yet saddened to see them viciously attacked. They have told me they fear these attacks and prefer not to be subjected to such cruelty as it is traumatic – which I understand. This has been deeply painful and traumatizing to not defend myself – or be defended.
Imagine if you were me, knowing Frank Report has millions of views around the world, with people seeing it as the “NXIVM Source” and watch silently as your “character is assassinated.”
NOW ON TO POSTING DETAILS….
K. R. Claviger’s statements are in BOLD, while my FACTS are below them in regular typeface.
Barbara Bouchey found Yuri Plyam, a licensed commodities broker in Los Angeles, CA. I don’t remember the date Yuri was hired offhand but believe it was after Keith lost $1M or so of Barbara’s own money or, some say, money she’d earned as the Bronfman sisters’ accountant after joining NXIVM.
Five months after I met Keith, he convinced me that he and I should each invest $25,000 in a commodity account to “test” his mathematical formula. My employee did some research and we found “Castle Commodity Trading”, owned by Yuri Plyam.
My own savings were invested. The money did not come from the Bronfmans. The Bronfmans didn’t join NXIVM until two years later and didn’t become my clients until five years later.
At nearly 40 years old, however, Barbara was already a very successful financial manager in the Albany area. Barbara was referred to NXIVM by Nancy Salzman in about 2000, a year or so after officially starting ESP, later NXIVM, with Keith.
When I took my first workshop, I was, at age 40, managing $90 million, grossing $900,000 annually, with a client minimum of $1 million, and I had $1.5 million in savings. I met Nancy in 1988. She was referred to me by my TMJ dentist for stress management.
I went for therapy for six months. A few years later, I invested a small IRA for Nancy. We socialized 2-3 times a year. Twelve years later,  Nancy persuaded me to take a workshop. It was an emotional time for me. My best friend had committed suicide and I had just asked my husband for a divorce. Keith and Nancy had started ESP two years earlier, in July 1998.
Nancy was Barbara’s “psychologist” or therapist for over a decade prior.
Nancy was not my therapist for a decade. I met Nancy 12 years before I took my first ESP workshop, but I only went for therapy 6 months with Nancy – in 1988. Over the 12 years that passed, I only went in to see Nancy for therapy on a few occasions for a brief period.
Keith seduced Barbara or “they fell in love” rather, overnight. Barbara believed Keith was in love and that they had an exclusive, more or less, romantic relationship until 2009 when Barbara left with the “NXIVM 9.”
I did not find Keith physically or romantically attractive, and the last thing I wanted during a divorce transition was getting into another relationship. I did not fall in love overnight.
Although, Keith pursued me from day one and Nancy, and his inner circle, continually sang his praises and tried to encourage me to date him, it wasn’t until six months later that I first started having feelings of love for Keith.
I ended our intimate relationship one year before leaving NXIVM, which caused Keith to give me the silent treatment over the next 10 months while propagating the lie that I had some big “ethical breach” with him which was so bad that he couldn’t even “talk” to me.
Keith called the shots on the trades, per Barbara, but Keith didn’t have a brokers’ license.
True, Keith did not have a broker license. However, I signed documents giving Keith “Trader Authorization” which allowed him unlimited “trading authority”. It was Yuri Plyam who placed the trades as the broker.
Yuri and Keith became phone buddies as Keith blew through upwards of 65M loaned to him by the Bronfman sisters in market trades.
(Disclaimer, this info is already in the public domain or public court documents)
August 2000 was the first time Keith placed trades with Yuri in my account. Trading stopped months later due to margin call losses.
However, Keith and Yuri continued talking daily for some four years, becoming phone buddies. Then sometime around 2004-5, Keith opened a commodity account for First Principles, Inc., which was his and Nancy’s company which he put in Nancy’s name.
Keith started incurring margin losses. Then he and Nancy asked to “borrow” money from the Bronfmans in 2005 to cover his losses. They agreed to pay it all back and drafted loan agreements. The Bronfmans never owned or invested in commodities, nor did they invest in First Principles to buy commodities.
In the beginning, Raniere followed Yuri’s advice – and was actually making money. But once he started making his own trading decisions, he quickly blew through $1.2 million of Bouchey’s funds.
Keith convinced me that we each should invest $25,000 in commodities to test out his mathematical formula. Keith then asked to borrow his $25,000 from me, telling me he was confident it would be earned back quickly, or ESP would pay me. He guaranteed me that all I could lose was my $25,000 principal. That turned out to be a lie. At first, he made money. The investment grew to $150,000 over the next six weeks. Then suddenly Keith came to me and told me he needed $600,000 for a margin call, claiming he didn’t “know” commodities could incur losses. That turned out to be another lie.
I was shocked and horrified. I told him to close the account, but Keith said he couldn’t. That was a lie. He said he could lengthen maturities to reduce risk. That was a lie.
Lengthening maturities exposed me to greater risk. Within months, I was forced to use my own $1.6 million savings to cover his margin call losses.
Next up was Michael Sutton – who was convinced to put up some funds so that Raniere could continue to refine his formula (Barbara and Keith did such a good job of convincing Sutton that they knew what they were doing, he even opened up his own commodities trading account and doubled-down on some of Raniere’s investments, thereby doubling the amount of the losses that he incurred via Raniere’s commodities trading strategies). Total losses for Sutton were approximately $5 million – some of which Bouchey promised to pay back to him (I don’t believe she ever did this).
Keith did the convincing, not me. He convinced Nancy, myself and then Michael to invest. After I lost my entire life savings of $1.6 million to cover Keith’s margin losses [which was in my name in my account], the losses still continued.
Keith and Nancy asked Michael Sutton if they could borrow $1.3 million from him to cover Keith’s further losses in my account. Because the account was in my name, I was the one who had to sign the loan agreement with Michael – but Michael knew full well it was Keith and Nancy’s debt, not mine. Michael never asked me to pay him back because he knew he made the loan to Keith and Nancy and it was their debt.
The only way that Raniere could have ever paid back any of the money he “borrowed” from Bouchey, Sutton and or Bronfmans is if he actually made money on some future commodities trades.
Keith and Nancy owed, and vowed to pay me back the $1.6 million I invested and they vowed to pay Michael back the $1.3 million in 2001. They said ESP would soon earn that money. By 2003, ESP was grossing over $3 million, and they said they could start to pay us back from ESP, having nothing to do with Keith needing to do future trades.
But Keith said it would cripple ESP financially, and since we were earning money in our own businesses, Keith and Nancy told us that we should think of upholding the mission and humanity – instead of being selfish. And just to clarify, the $65 million margin call loss – which Keith borrowed from the Bronfmans to make – didn’t occur until six years later.
It was apparently sometime after her divorce that Bouchey started seeing Nancy Salzman. And although Salzman presented herself to clients and potential clients as a “psychotherapist,” she basically had the same psychologist/psychiatrist/therapist credentials as Lucy does in the Charlie Brown comic strip: i.e., NONE.
I did not start seeing Nancy for therapy after my divorce. I did go out for dinners with Nancy about six months prior to my first workshop. My last previous therapy with Nancy was probably about five years earlier. Nancy referred to herself as a therapist or NLP practitioner – and never called herself a psychotherapist. A month before taking my first ESP workshop, I asked my husband for a divorce and we had our last marriage counseling session.
That was the triggering event. Nancy convinced me to take a workshop saying it would help me in the transition.
Although Bouchey has always maintained that she thought she had an “exclusive” sexual relationship with Raniere, several of her NXIVM contemporaries have disputed that claim. Indeed, there have numerous accounts of Salzman, Pam Cafritz and others counselling Bouchey about her unreasonable attachment to Raniere’s penis.
I have always maintained that I did not know of Keith having other women until almost a year after meeting Keith. I have always maintained that I learned of three other women but didn’t know for sure about nine other women until I quit NXIVM.
I did, however, suspect other women, but Keith and his inner circle denied it and I was berated for being jealous and accusatory. I have always stated Salzman, Cafritz and others counseled me repeatedly for being unhappy about the three women I knew about. In fact, there were often 2-5 of Keith’s inner circle coming for a “chat” and to “EM” me or have a “mentor feedback session.”
Regardless of the realities of Bouchey’s description of her personal relationship with Raniere, it’s true that she allowed him to make all the decisions about the commodities trades in her account. What that says about her prowess as a financial planner is an interesting question.
My reputation as a Financial Planner was one where I was known as being honest, trustworthy, responsible, astute, a leader and a pillar in the community. I only knew Keith five months, having no idea about his true character when we did the commodities.
Prior to this, I never owned, traded, or did so for my clients in my entire career – and – was unfamiliar with them.
Keith showed me copies of the Guinness Book of Records where he was named as having the Highest IQ. He and his inner circle boasted about how smart, honorable, honest and trustworthy he was and boasted of his previous successes.
At that point, I had no reason to suspect Keith, his inner circle, or Nancy (who I knew for 12 years) would deceive me. I had no reason or evidence to suspect Keith was lying and conning me. No matter what one’s prowess is, even the smartest of people can be conned by a master con artist.
Claviger: Indeed, at one-point Bouchey arranged for them to borrow $20 million against one of their future trust payouts so that they could keep both things going (Another great piece of advice from their financial planner – who, by the way, more than recouped her $1.2 million of commodities losses via the fees she earned as the Bronfman sisters’ financial adviser).
(Disclaimer, this info is already in the public domain or public court documents)
At the Bronfman’s request, I attended a bank meeting to provide financial information to help them borrow $20 million against a trust payout.
Well before this, I made it known to Keith, Nancy and the Bronfmans of my dissatisfaction.
The Bronfmans told me to “mind my own business” and Keith and Nancy avoided the topic with me. The Bronfman’s requests went through my assistant, Becky Freeman, instead of me.
As a Financial Planner, I have no right to tell my clients how to spend their money. Yes, we can share our two cents worth, but it’s improper to do more, or push or pressure a client beyond that.
I rightfully earned fees by providing services to the Bronfmans, while incurring overhead and five employees to do so. To say that this somehow allowed me to recoup my lost life savings of $1.6 million which Keith lost in commodity trading and he owed to me is cruel and irrelevant.
My revenues and net profit were far better before the Bronfmans became clients. Remember, they didn’t become clients until five years after I joined NXIVM, and were my clients for only four years. Our relationship ending when I quit Nxivm in 2009.
I had wanted to terminate them as clients a year before I left NXIVM due to lack of profitability and insubordination issues I had with them. I assure you there is much that no one knows of, and I am not allowed to speak of.
Several people have speculated that Keith and Yuri may have conspired to fake the commodities losses – and the trades never really happened. But, if that’s the case, then Bouchey had to be in on the conspiracy because, in her role as the Bronfman’s financial adviser, she actually had records of all the trades.
Barbara Bouchey with Michelle, Lauren and Nancy SalzmanBB FACTS:
I never had records of Keith’s trades or commodity statements because they were done in First Principle, Inc. (owned on paper by Nancy Salzman) and were NOT shared with me.
The Bronfmans “loaned” money to cover Keith’s losses. Their loans are the only records I have. To suggest that I was or had to be in on the conspiracy is false, uninformed and slanderous.
Bouchey joined Executive Success Programs (ESP) – and took her first training course on March 27, 2000. Less than six months later, she was madly in love with Raniere – and turning over control of her life savings to him.
I never turned over control of my life savings to Keith. I agreed to ONLY a $25,000 commodity investment and was told by Keith that not a penny more could be lost. Due to Keith’s lying about not being able to close the account and how it was traded, I was forced to cover margin calls of $1.6 million within months which I had no way of stopping. It was a nightmare for me, like being on a train barreling down the tracks towards the station and you cannot get off.
I would never knowingly or willingly have invested more than $25,000 in commodities.
The reason I had $1.6 million saved by age 40 was because I did not spend frivolously. I saved my money. I didn’t invest in risky things and was extremely prudent and cautious.
In addition to the money that she herself lost, Bouchey convinced several other people to get involved with Raniere’s commodities trading. These included her cousin, Chrissy Carey ($700,000), Noelle Nielsen ($200,000), and Michael Sutton ($1,400,000). Supposedly, Chrissy Carey was paid back her $700,000, though the source of the funds for that repayment is not known. There is no information as to whether Noelle Nielsen ever got paid back her $200,000.
My cousin, Chrissy Carey, was asked by Keith and Nancy to lend them $700,000 for a different account. A loan agreement was signed where they would pay her 12% interest. Two years later Keith and Nancy paid Carey in full, using a corporate check. Keith and Nancy also borrowed $200,000 from Noelle Nielsen and paid her in full one year later with 12% interest with a corporate check.
Bouchey’s apparent motivation for getting others involved in Raniere’s commodities trading was to generate profits that would allow her to recoup some/all of the money that she herself had lost. Not exactly the soundest of investment strategies to recommend to others – especially for a Certified Financial Planner.
My motivation was for Keith and Nancy to take responsibility for Keith’s commodity losses. Keith and Nancy borrowed money from Carey and Nielsen and signed contractual loan agreements and repaid them in full, plus 12% interest. ESP was earning millions and was capable of paying this money back – which they did. This did not generate any profit for me. But it turned out to be a sound strategy. What wasn’t a sound strategy was my inability to ever get Keith and Nancy to pay “me” back.
Bouchey had apparently promised Sutton that she would personally reimburse him for the $1.4 million that he had “loaned” to Raniere (Sutton reportedly lost another $3-$4 million by setting up his own commodities trading account – and mimicking Raniere’s trades). That’s why she listed Sutton as a creditor in her bankruptcy filing in 2010.
Because the commodity account was in my name, the loan agreement needed to be signed by me for the $1.4 million owed Michael Sutton – but – it was clearly understood and the investment was ONLY made by Michael – because Keith and Nancy were responsible for paying Michael back. He knew this full well. I was required by law to list the Sutton loan in my bankruptcy filing, which I did, along with a full description of the terms of the loan – which was that the debt was owed by Keith and Nancy. I included a letter in my bankruptcy filings signed by Michael Sutton affirming that Keith and Nancy owed him the money, not me.
Bouchey originally claimed that she lost $600,000 in conjunction with Raniere’s commodities trades on her behalf. She later claimed that her total losses were $1.7 million.
I did claim I lost $600,000 with Raniere’s commodity trades, which was the “first” margin call loss I was required to make. And I always stated that the total margin call losses were $1.7 million.
This concludes the clarifications needed to refute the post written by K. R. Claviger.
If you have read this far, thank you for doing so! If you have questions, please use your real name, comment, and I will do my best to respond.
As for my commodity account, I filed counterclaims against NXIVM for fraud, conversion and conspiracy in regard to Keith trading my commodity account.
I have broken down precisely how Keith masterfully conned, deceived, and lied to me while Nancy and his inner circle helped him manipulate and weave his false tale.
I hope this clarifies the true facts and rebuts the slanderous claims that I was a lousy financial planner who stupidly gave Keith her life savings of $1.6 million. I NEVER did this. I was deceived. And this is yet another lesson in the art of manipulation by Keith Raniere and his inner circle.
In closing, thank you for reading my post! Please note that much of this information is corroborated in some 800 court filings, containing over 100,000 pages, stemming from the last 10 years of malicious litigation I endured – directed by Keith Raniere.