The Buffalo News Raises Questions About Frank Parlato’s Case – More Detailed Analysis Needed

Frank Parlato was the lead investigator of the Investigation Discovery film 'The Lost Women of Nxivm'

By Joe O’Hara

[This is Part 1 of a series of articles that I will be writing about the U.S. v. Parlato Et Al case. Along the way, I will detail what a sham this case is – and how it was orchestrated by two inner circle members of the NXIVM criminal enterprise, Clare and Sara Bronfman, and a conman named Shmuel Shmueli – all three of whom just happened to be represented by the same attorney, William F. Savino. I will also explain how many of the slimy tactics that were used to indict Frank have become the norm in the everyday operations of the U.S. criminal justice system. Readers are encouraged to ask questions – which I will endeavor to answer on a timely basis].


Part 1

On the very day that “The Lost Women of Nxivm” was set to air on Investigation Discovery, Frank Parlato’s hometown newspaper, The Buffalo News, ran an intriguing story about him.

MK10’s Lost Women of NXIVM.

At the outset of the story, the reporter noted that “It would be easy for people to think there are two Frank Parlatos”. One who was a crusading investigative reporter – and another who was a fraudster.

The first characterization is based on the fact that Frank was the key figure in bringing about a federal investigation of the NXIVM cult – and taking down its leadership (Keith Raniere, the leader of NXIVM, has been found guilty on seven felony counts – and all five of his co-defendants have pleaded guilty to various felonies).

MK10’s portrait of Frank Parlato

The second characterization is based on the fact that Frank is still facing federal charges himself – and is scheduled to go to trial next May.

While The Buffalo News story was generally very accurate in delineating the critical role that Frank played in taking down Raniere and his sycophantic followers, space considerations did not permit them to do a very thorough job in explaining the pending charges against Frank – and how and why those charges came about in the first place.

In particular, the story did not explain that the pending charges against Frank were the direct result of an intensive lobbying campaign with the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York by Clare and Sara Bronfman and one of their numerous attorneys, William F. Savino.

Wee Willie Savino and Clare Bronfman.

Nor did it make note of the fact that at the time the Bronfman sisters filed a criminal complaint against Frank, they had already initiated a civil lawsuit against him (Frank subsequently filed counterclaims in that lawsuit – which is also still pending). It is not known whether the Bronfmans and their attorney disclosed that fact to the feds.

Although it did note that the Bronfman-related criminal charges against Frank have been dismissed, The Buffalo News story did not mention that the reason for that dismissal was that Frank provided conclusive proof that Clare Bronfman had perjured herself in her testimony to the Grand Jury that indicted him (I’ll be detailing that perjury in a later post – and raising questions as to why Clare was not charged with that crime).

MK10ART’s wonderful painting of Clare Bronfman who will be sentenced on Valentine’s Day in 2020. 

Finally, the story also did not explain why the local FBI office spent five years investigating Frank and his various businesses – and only came up with what amounts to insinuations of criminal activity rather than documented evidence of it.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I intend to explore – and explain – many important details of Frank’s pending criminal case.

In doing so, I will also explain why Frank is a prime example of an individual who is being run over by a criminal justice system that is anything but just.

But, before I start down that road, let me review some of the details in The Buffalo News story so that Frank Report readers can see how the author of that story assesses Frank’s role in blowing up the NXIVM cult.


Numerous Media Outlets Acknowledge Frank Played a Key Role in Taking Down NXIVM

In addition to acknowledging that Frank was the moving force behind “The Lost Women of NXIVM” documentary, the story also notes that several other media outlets have acknowledged his critical role in exposing what was going on inside the cult.

“Investigation Discovery is not the first media outlet to credit Parlato for his role in exposing Nxivm. In covering the allegations, which include allegations that women were branded with a cauterizing device, the New York Times, New York Post and others have also credited Parlato”.

The “and others” that were cited in the newspaper story includes, but is not limited to, the following media outlets:

  1. Albany Times Union
  2. Al Bawaba News
  3. C21 Media
  4. CBS News
  5. Cinema Blend
  6. Courier-Mail
  7. Daily Mail (England)
  8. Deadline
  9. Forbes
  10. Fox News
  11. Hollywood Life
  12. Irish Central (Ireland)
  13. Miami New Times
  14. National Post (Canada)
  15. New York Daily News
  16. Oxygen
  17. People
  18. Radar Online
  19. Real Screen
  20. Rolling Stone
  21. Spectrum News
  22. Sputnik (Russia)
  23. The Forward
  24. The Futon Clinic
  25. The New Zealand Herald
  26. The Sun (England)
  27. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
  28. The Wrap
  29. Toronto Star
  30. Vancouver Sun (Canada)
  31. Vice
  32. Washington Post
  33. Your Tango
  34. MSN News
  35. Mondo Fox (Italy)
  36. Tele Star (France)
  37. Midia News (Brazil)
  38. Lux (Portugal)
  39. 1 News (Brazil)
  40. Men’s Health
  41. La Razon -El Salvador)
  42. Bahia (Bosnia)
  43. Stern (Germany)
  44. Tocana (Japan)
  45. Pulse (Ghana)
  46. People Magazine Espanol (Mexico)
  47. Page Six
  48. Blick (Chile)
  49. (Australia)
  50. TMZ
  51. Daily Caller
  52. Blasting News (Switzerland)
  53. Vanity Fair Espanol (Mexico)
  54. De Telegraph (Netherlands)
  55. Le Republica (Peru)
  56. E! News
  57. Paris Match (France)
  58. Vanitatis El Confidential (Spain)
  59. The Times of London
  60. Key West Citizen
  61. The Epoch Times
  62. Milenio (Mexico)
  63. Proceso {Mexico)
  64. Yahoo Entertainment
  65. El Universal (Mexico)
  66. Telemundo {Mexico}
  67. Cosmopolitan
  68. Newsweek
  69. E! So; De Mexico
  70. And about 300 other publications.

In fact, about the only people who have not fully acknowledged the key role that Frank played in taking down the NXIVM cult are the people who have tried to aggrandize their own role in that achievement.


Frank Refuses to Play the “Plea Deal” Game

Frank has adamantly maintained his innocence – and has already rejected various plea deals that have been offered by federal prosecutors.

“I have no intention of agreeing to any deal that requires me to admit to any wrongdoing because I have not done anything wrong”, Frank told me.

That statement alone makes this an unusual case because 97% of federal criminal cases end up with a plea deal (I’ll be explaining why that is so in a later post). And in every one of those cases, the accused has to admit to committing a criminal act – even if they didn’t do so.

But Frank is refusing to play the “plea deal” game – which means that the federal prosecutors are going to have to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Frank knowingly and intentionally committed the criminal acts with which he’s been charged (I’ll be getting into the details of those charges in my next post).

For Frank, the decision to proceed to trial was very simple.

“I did not do anything wrong – and I’m not going to say that I did just to avoid going to trial”, Frank said. “I trust that 12 impartial jurors will see that these remaining charges against me were trumped up just to make it look like I’m a bad guy”.

The Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York may now be in a quandary.

They don’t like taking cases to trial – especially ones that look like sure losers.

But Frank won’t play along like most defendants – and take a deal in order to avoid the expense and uncertainty of a trial.

That’s the problem when you indict an innocent person who isn’t afraid of how 12 impartial jurors will assess the evidence that is presented to them.



About the author

J.J. O'Hara


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  • Guess who wanted to shut down Frank Parlato? Guess who twisted facts and the meaning of what’s true and what is not true to try getting Raniere’s/Nxivm’s desired results, to hamper and to damage Frank, who had seen through them too much and let the whole world know? This is all classic “defense becomes offense” tactics. There’s nothing new about it, and there is nothing valid, not here.

    Why tie knots when you can simply undo a sloppy little bow? Huh!

    Pay attention, U.S. Attorneys for every District of New York, because this mess against Frank Parlato needs to be dropped, flushed down the pipes and into the sewer. Are you all really still embarrassed that Frank Parlato stepped in and did what our “representatives” could have and should have done and that Frank brought to light, what should have been moved on years ago? Let’s talk about that.

    When going along with litigation tricks of the trade which were initiated by those who are now convicted criminals, who are absolutely and publicly notorious now, why try to play a baseball game in the middle of a hurricane?

    What I’m looking for are more charges against Nxivm and its criminals and for the delivery of sentences which really address the long reign of Raniere’s and his “disciples’ ” criminal actions. There are more charges to make, more Nxivm/DOS criminals to pursue. So this business to do with Frank Parlato is not a good look. Why play both sides of the street? This legalistic mumbo-jumbo is is older than grayish green cheese, stuck in your gums too late and needing to be expectorated, not swallowed.

    Note the many other litigation tricks used with the backing of Bronfman $$$ and clout. Talk about being caught red-handed.

    Heroes are no more perfect than any other ordinary men or women or children. Heroes just move faster and harder than the rest, those who might hesitate. For the love of God, walk calmly over to the sink and wash this dirt off of your hands and down the drain. Don’t shoot the messenger here. And do not even try to call what has been happening friendly fire.

  • When they have a total bullshit case, the best thing to do is get a court-appointed lawyer, and then fire that lawyer, and keep firing the lawyers until you get to a good one.

    My friend had loads of ridiculous charges, and his plea deal was contempt of court when it was all said and done. No time.

    • This is how come the pusher, poor but rich Sara Bronfman Igtet, is still lucky. Her main talent was screwing around. You know, with naive lamas and stuff like that. So even now she is still getting paid. Kinda like the prostitute who helped Rhett Butler out in Gone with the Wind, you see.

      Clare, as I’ve said all along, should’ve stuck with her horses. She did not inherit her mama’s propensities. Of course, these observations are theoretical and rather opinionated. However, few of us grew up in a convent.

      • Shivani:
        No one is a Saint.
        Even the Holy Dalai Lama proved that he is for sale at the right price.
        But most of us have a better instinct for self-preservation than the women of NXIVM.

        I suppose Sara will manage to survive.
        She appears smart enough to stay out of the US and conduct her affairs on the down low.
        Sara knows that France has a fondness for outlaws from American Justice.
        People like Roman Polanski.
        It is part of France’s inherent anti-Americanism.
        The French hate the country that saved them twice from Germany.

        As for NXIVM I doubt if any of the women or the men who followed Raniere so faithfully for so long are truly reformed.

        • You are so funny sitting at home thinking the French hate you (ungrateful bastards). They don’t, they are just very very fond of themselves, much like the US. What do you want? They gave you croissants and the statue of liberty, democracy, taught you how to make wine, how to make love, how to dress. BTW you ‘saved’ half a country, the other half as any Brit will tell you, are probably still Cheese-eating Surrender Monkeys, as in the days of Vichy.

  • Scott Johnson has once again typed faster than he can think. He wanted to be the first to comment again, didn’t he? He did. Thank you for Scott Johnson considering the possibility that Frank Parlato may be guilty. [ Not marked as sarcasm. In Scott Johnson’s opinion, that could ruin the commentary. [ Chuckles ]

    • Scooter should stick to 69ing with his butt buddy niceboy. They are both experts at coitus in this manner with each other.

      • Re Frank’s Court Case:

        I believe Frank will be found innocent by the jury. I looked up Frank’s case a while back, and have never mentioned it until now because I did not feel it was my place to bring it up. The case does not have any merit. It’s a criminal case that was only filed because of political lobbying. Frank will be fine.

    • Frank may be found guilty, even if he isn’t. It happens all of the time, even with death sentences. Some were found to be in error only after being executed. Oops! My bad, says Lady “Justice.” It’s one of the reasons why many people take a plea versus going to trial.

  • This article is confusing.

    First you say:

    “Although it did note that the Bronfman-related criminal charges against Frank have been dismissed…”

    Then you start about a plea.

    Are there two charges?

  • Just to be clear: The judge probably won’t any NXIVM related information to be used in Frank’s trial. If found guilty, Frank’s role in taking down NXIVM and the Niagara Falls tour boat scam probably will be allowed to be used as evidence the judge should show leniency.

      • In other words, STFU, Schlock, And go ahead — make a fool of yourself with your AMWAY, excuse for being an asshole, loser —bullshit.

      • Ask any lawyer, the legal system, and especially trials, are tricky things, and it’s often difficult to predict the result. I don’t know the details of your case, so I can’t make a judgment about it.

        My personal experience when Amway sued me backs that up, I only had a few hearings and then settled after about a year and a half, and we never went to trial. Of course, it was a civil vs. criminal case, so the stakes weren’t as high from a personal freedom perspective.

        The process was filled with potholes that I did not anticipate and Amway had every advantage (with their comparatively infinite money and team of slick lawyers, and being broke after being scammed by Amway didn’t help) except for the facts and the law. I won a very favorable settlement, which I also insisted be publicly available and it’s posted on my websites, but it wasn’t pretty or comfortable getting to that endpoint.

        Remember, the other side does legal battles for a living, so they are very good at it, whereas most individuals don’t, so they aren’t.

        The judge was a real a$$hole too, a cross between Mr. Shadow and NiceGuy! LOL

        There were at least two instances during the hearings where my lawyer said we could have appealed decisions the judge made to a higher court, but I literally couldn’t afford it and if we lost the appeal, the judge probably would have been even tougher on me, so I chose not to appeal.

      • Ideally admire you Frank. I will be praying for you. I really liked reading the “Hi Keith” article that was linked to this one. Inspiring seeing how far you have gone .
        Thank you for the fight. Motivating to see your drive and high energy.

      • When/where did I say that? Please list a few of the times I’ve “always” said that.

        Frank was on my podcast and has been invited back. That was not an unkind statement, it was a statement of fact, and meant to head off any complaints on this website in the event Frank is found guilty. The jury will have absolutely no idea what other good things Frank has done in his life and the prosecutor, who is probably buddy-buddy with the judge (that’s how it works), will paint Frank out to be the worst human being ever to walk the face of the earth (that’s how it works, too. It’s call an adversarial relationship, look it up).

        Therefore, I’m actually doing Frank a favor by stating the truth. If your virgin eyes can’t handle the truth, then don’t read my comments, Mr. Shadow. LOL

        • Scott it is my opinion I have an honest judge. That’s all I want is fairness. I also suspect that the new prosecutors in the case are honest. That means I don’t think they will deliberately lie or manufacture evidence in order to win.

          That is not true of the man who indicted me. The former prosecutor on this case, a man named Anthony Bruce, put this case together with the help of Bronfman’s attorney Bill Savino. Clare Bronfman went into the grand jury and lied – but she was never charged for that/.

          I think Bruce is corrupt. He retired right after indicting me. Now we shall go to trial and I will have my chance at last to establish my innocence. The prosecution, in prepping for this case, will soon have to examine the “evidence” of this case that Bruce left them with. Then they will understand they have no case, that this was all manufactured to please the Bronfmans and possibly others. It might have worked. Normally people who are indicted take a plea deal. But I will never take a plea deal admitting to something I never did – even if the penalty is ZERO. The reason for that is that I cannot in good conscience enable this corrupt system of overcharging or falsely charging people knowing they won’t risk trial and will take a plea deal, even to something they did not do.

          As Americans we have a tradition of standing up to oppression. That even includes government even if it has the Orwellian name of “the Department of Justice.”

          • Spot on Frankie. God Bless you and President Trump for fighting back against this corrupt machine.

          • I hope it’s true that you will get a fair trial. But keep in mind the DOJ doesn’t play to lose.

            I also stood up to Amway, until it became obvious the judge was corrupt in multiple instances, including not allowing me to counter sue Amway. At that point, it became obvious the best I could do was not spend more money on my attorney and make a settlement that turned out to be very favorable to me and my future interests to expose Amway for the scam that they are.

      • What I have said numerous times in the past is that often after people talk with me, either on the phone privately or on the podcast, they remark how nice of a guy I am, and my personal persona does not match their impression of my written one.

        • I friggin well hope that is the case. For a long while you/your Amway stuff didn’t bother me at all and I would have possibly taken more of an interest in it but when you started getting really insulting to the commenter that was dying of cancer, that’s when you went down in my estimation and, what sense you spoke, really didn’t matter any more

          • That is statistically almost impossible. My message to join the cause to educate others about Amway and other MLM scams has been seen by probably millions to 10s of millions of people over the past 14 years, almost all of whom have never come across me before, and only two, one of whom I contacted, has publicly taken me up on the request. His name is Peter Mingils and we have held a weekly radio show/podcast for almost 4.5 years:

            Another person approached me, after seeing my request, is a young woman who lives in Lithuania, but all she sees is CNN’s version of American politics, leans left like most young people, especially foreign people, and she backed out after Trump was elected. She had a personal experience with Amway, including losing a lot of money and having a nervous breakdown while attending college, hardly someone who Mr. Shadow thinks is a “greedy soap sales person.” It is disgusting that he and others have this view, as MLM scams have resulted in murders, suicides, bankruptcies, massive debt, divorces, abandonments, destroyed relationships, etc., and in much larger quantities than Raniere ever imagined in his wettest of wet dreams.

            We don’t know whether the woman had cancer or was even a woman. “She” didn’t use her real name. In fact, “she” changed “her” name over time. Talking about someone with literally nothing to lose (supposedly) by using their real name, or a name traceable to a fixed social media account! If you want to be treated like an adult, then act like an adult and use a name as described above.

            Plus, “she” was nasty to me before I returned the favor. As I’ve said before, I was Trump before Trump was Trump. Translation: I don’t punch, I counter punch, and the counter punch is usually much more severe than the original incoming punch. I was doing that long before Trump started his campaign for President, which is when most people learned he uses the same technique when attacked. I tried “dancing” with several people over the years and spent/wasted a lot of time trying to be “nice” and “understanding,” it doesn’t work. Lazy and apathetic people are simply lazy and apathetic. I was never in the Marine Corps, but I live by their motto: No greater friend, no worse enemy. If you want to call a truce, I’m all for it, but keep in mind I remain (verbally) locked and loaded.

            If you and the rest of the child losers commenting anonymously here are okay with people being scammed because I didn’t suck up to an anonymous someone who claimed to have cancer and attacked me first, that says a lot more about you (and it’s not good) than it does about me. I’ve heard that lame excuse about joining the effort to educate others about Amway and other MLM scams/but for – from a lot of people over the years. I don’t buy it, just like most people don’t buy overpriced MLM products, except for the distributors. LOL

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.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato,_Jr.

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083