The Federal Case Against Frank Parlato – a Prosecution in Search of a Crime

William Savino, attorney with his client Clare Bronfman.

Joe O’Hara

[This is Part 3 of a series of articles that I am 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: The Buffalo News Raises Questions About Frank Parlato’s Case – More Detailed Analysis Needed

Part 2: The Convoluted History of U.S. v. Parlato Began With Bronfman Sisters


Most Americans have a general understanding of how our country’s criminal justice system works – or at least how it’s supposed to work.

The basic concepts are as follows:

– When allegations or evidence of a potential crime comes to light, an investigation is supposed to be undertaken to determine if any criminal activity took place – and, if so, who committed the underlying crime.

– If the investigation produces evidence that a crime did, in fact, take place – and it determines who it is that likely committed the crime – then the alleged perpetrator is formally charged.

– If the defendant does not plead guilty to the charge(s) that are brought against them (or some reduced variation thereof), a trial is held to determine their guilt or innocence.

That’s the way the system is supposed to work.

But all too often, the system doesn’t work that way at all.

Sometimes, even though there is evidence that potential crimes have been committed, no investigation takes place. Usually, that’s because the people who are supposed to conduct the investigation – or, more likely, those people’s bosses – have been bought off or scared off by the perpetrators or their political allies.

Sometimes, even though an investigation determines who it is that likely committed a crime, no prosecution takes place. Usually, that’s because the prosecutor has been bought off or scared off by the perpetrators or their political allies (Rarely – and usually only in cases involving minor crimes – the prosecutor will exercise their discretion and simply not do anything).

Sometimes – albeit very rarely – the judge who is presiding over a criminal case will dismiss the charges against the defendant because there is insufficient evidence to warrant a conviction.

And then there is the curious case of Frank Parlato, Jr.


Shmuel Shmueli & the Bronfman Sisters

Shmuel Shmueli, serial litigant and scam artist.

Based on my discussions with Frank – as well as the filings in his case and everything I’ve been able to read about the events leading up to charges being filed against him – it appears that Frank may have been targeted for prosecution.

Many people may have trouble wrapping their heads around the concept that the government would set out to prosecute someone before any investigation was undertaken.

Trust me, as someone who has been on the wrong side of that equation, it happens a lot more often than the general public might believe.

In Frank’s case, he had three enemies that were interested in seeing him taken down.

One was Shmuel Shmueli, a shady character who became entwined in a business development project that Frank had undertaken in Niagara Falls, NY.

The others were the infamous Bronfman sisters – Clare and Sara – who had originally hired Frank to rescue their $26 million investment in a Los Angeles real estate development project.

Interestingly enough, both of Frank’s enemies were represented by the same attorney: William F. Savino.

Savino is now a partner in the Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP law firm in Buffalo, NY.

And he has been earning big fees representing the Bronfman sisters in a variety of matters since at least 2005.

Unbothered by the sort of conscience that might lead other attorneys to decline taking on certain clients, Wee Willie Savino pretty much operates on the principle that “If the check clears, I’m in”.


The Investigation & Indictment of Frank Parlato

Frank believes that Savino was instrumental in getting an investigation launched by the FBI Office in the Western District of New York concerning his business dealings with both Shmueli and the Bronfman sisters.

That investigation – which lasted for several years – resulted in a 19-count indictment against Frank back in November 2015.

While I will be analyzing that indictment in much more detail in a future post, suffice to say for now that it was heavy in bombast – and light on substance.

And as the Feds love to do, it involved the type of “over-charging” that makes for great headlines – and that often leads juries to believe that the defendant must be guilty of something.

After all, this was a 19 COUNT INDICTMENT.

Hell, Frank must be guilty of something if he was charged with that many crimes, right?

But, as I will explain in a future post, this particular indictment is like a driver being given 10 speeding tickets after the patrol car following him determined that he had been driving over the speed limit at ten different times over the course of one mile.

Yeah, technically, you can parse out the charges like that.

But that’s not the way the criminal justice system is supposed to work


Former U.S. Assistant Attorney Anthony M. Bruce

As luck would have it – or something like that – Frank’s case was assigned to former U.S. Assistant Attorney Anthony M. Bruce (Bruce retired almost immediately after Frank was indicted).

Exactly when Bruce became involved in the matter is not known as of yet but it appears that he may have begun working on it at the same time that the FBI launched its investigation (It’s even possible that Savino got Bruce to ask the FBI to start investigating Frank).

What is known is that Bruce and Savino know each other quite well.

Both are members of the adjunct faculty at the University of Buffalo Law School.

And both travel in the same social circles in the Buffalo area.

What is also known is that Bruce had a well-earned reputation for cutting corners and doing unethical things while serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Think of Moira Kim Penza – and take away her 4” heels and all her ethical standards – and you have Anthony M. Bruce.

About a year ago, Frank ran some ads to find out if he was the only one who had been treated unfairly by Bruce.

The responses were overwhelming and bone-chilling.

Numerous lawyers, defendants, witnesses, and others came forward to describe how Bruce had acted inappropriately and unethically.

Introducing falsified documents in a criminal proceeding? CHECK!

Arranging for the burglary of an attorney’s office? CHECK!

Having a convicted killer falsely claim that someone else did the killings for which he was convicted? CHECK!

Indicting someone who had already served time for the crime he was accused of committing? CHECK!


Much More to Follow

Buckle up, Frank Report readers.

Over the next few weeks, I will be delving into the details of Frank’s case – and explaining how the Feds are trying to utilize their power to destroy an innocent man.

I will also be providing you with some perspective on the U.S. criminal justice system.

If you think that Frank is the only victim of an out-of-control system, you’re wrong.

Hopefully, we can end this farce of a case before it goes any further.

I wasn’t able to adequately defend myself when the Feds came after me.

I damn sure don’t want Frank to suffer the same fate that I did.

About the author

J.J. O'Hara


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  • One other thing — for all you sick or lonely or both Bangkookian Frankenfuckers actually reading this on Christmas despite not having to spend it without your own only begotten son – EXCUSE ME if I sound a bit out of the Holiday Spirit — had anyone mentioned I would be appearing in a documentary with Roger Stone (for any reason) —much less during a virtual political ideological civil war with a nigh Presidential impeachment, shortly after Stone’s incarceration — I may have had second thoughts about it.

    Toni was right about one thing: “they” do want Frank and have pulled out all the stops so far to get him regardless of a sparing any innocent bystanders — at the very least.

    So Merry Christmas flying apeshit flinging motherfuckers — you know exactly who you are and so does God. May you reap 10 fold what you sew. And know much JOY in the New Year!

    • Heidi:
      I know that there is little I can say or write to help you personally.
      But I do wish you and your son a Happy New Year in 2020 and I hope and pray for a resolution to your ordeal and a definitive answer to what happened to Gina.
      Shadow State.

    • What the fuck does Roger Stone have to do with your misery? The injustice done to him is perfectly fine but any injustice done to you is all that matters. STFU. And for what it is worth, I had to spend Christmas away from my family also, protecting yours.

  • I’m reluctant to even begin to comment on this — for obvious reasons if you’re following my sad story in close proximity to Frank and his investigatory pursuits — not that any I’ll-fate that has befallen me and my son to the point where I cannot yet spend even Christmas with him for the first time ever in his young life is ANY fault of Frank’s — even by proximity to him while he was and remains the #1 NXIVM takedown target of, possibly, all-time. And, btw, forgot to tell me about the superceding indictment — but that’s not for a lady’s ears
    I suppose.

    All I can say in support of Frank, Chitra and ALL of us who appear to remain targets of NX’s flying monkey plots or there risidual effects is:

    Give Clare back her fucking million — on the condition it be parsed into the NX Victim’s compensation fund if you like — she’s a fucking loan shark, true, but neither she nor her apes will rest until you just give it back —with an apology for ever trying to earn her gratitude by recovering any lost money (or brain cells) for her to begin with.

    And for your failure, Frank, to fulfill Clare’s dreams teaching her how to astral project as the King of Cambodia, etc. And get her Irish girlfriend a Visa, etc. And not fucking her so you could be also be charged with rape, and teaching her how to astral
    project while YOU, not Keith and Nancy, also took the fall for stealing their missing millions.

    That’s what they do, same pattern over and over — sucker in the next fall guy, spit him out and sue him, stomp him (or her).

    So, merry Christmas. Jeff Apple, “Bangkok,” if you’re (of course) reading this: You’re the GRINCH — you’re the narcissist taking advantage of my former justifiable fears in this — that YOU perpetuated to use as an excuse to avoid your support obligations to our son.

    I WANT MY SON BACK, neither of us have ever done anything to deserve this. I may have expressed justifiable fear in the past while our (as well as Frank’s, Catherine Oxenberg’s, Bonnie Peas, Mark Vincente’s and other’s living near or with us) lives were literally being threatened by NXIVM, however you are grossly exaggerating any expression of fear and have been exasperating those or trying to to justify your own wrong-doing and Medicare fraud.

    The TRUTH — as BIZARRE as it is — will prevail in all of this. It looks a little different on everyone but it shines like Christmas! 🌟

    Happy Holidays to ALL and please accept my deepest gratitude for those of you who are here on FR to discover and support the truth, freedom for the enslaved, and justice for Gina and all the victims of NXIVM!

    • Take care, sister, and be strong; all that is good is on your side. Wishing you and Dylan back together in 2020 when hopefully, many scales will fall from many, many eyes.

      I don’t think Frank should give back even a cent of his wage for a job well done. Earnings are sacrosanct or else if not voluntary, labour without earning is slavery and exploitation.

      I do think Clare and Sara Bronfman should parse out there entire fortune for victim recompense though. Perhaps some ghosts of Christmas past will rattle their chains over the sado-siblings bedsteads this year, take them on a little trip back through their karmic tunnels, and show them why they have to change. Seems almost more likely than the NDNY coming out of its special Narnia-closet, sadly. Much Love HH. just continue to allow the road to rise with you.

    • Heidi, I’m so sorry to hear that you are not with your son. I hope and pray this situation will be rectified soon.

      As for the 1 million, I don’t think any of this would stop if he gave it back. I think the million was a pretext to get at Frank. In my opinion, if he gave it back, the sisters, in the manner of all bullies, would take it as a sign of weakness and would find other reasons to keep going after him.

      The million dollars is their McGuffin.

    • Heidi, I’m sorry that you and your son had to spend Christmas apart.
      I’m trying to understand what you meant in your comment regarding your ex-husband. Are you saying that he is involved in NXIVM?

  • Let’s not forget the corrupt Judiciary. Criminal thugs in black robes.


    75 years old. She has destroyed hundreds of lives in her tenure. Put this Bitch in the Hot Box facing the sunrise at Gitmo until she begs to be executed. No wonder she’s suddenly out on medical leave until her retirement date
    Dont let this traitor cunt simply “retire”. The fucker needs to rot its remaining years

    Since the Obama DOJ, CIA< FBI< NSA all lied to the FISA court and the FISA judge came to know right quickly the warrant was fraudulent and is equally guilty in this fiasco all charges should be dropped and compensation paid to Flynn, Carter Page, Stone and all others who were picked up in this unlawful fiasco.

    • Scott Laux, Raniere was indicted only after DOS was exposed by Frank Parlato and subsequently The New York Times. Only after Catherine Oxenberg’s blonde daughter was branded. It would have been a bad look for law enforcement not to finally do something at that point. And notice that Raniere was indicted not by the NDNY, where he lived and where the Bronfman sisters reportedly spread their money around. He and the other defendants were indicted instead by the EDNY.

    • The better question is “Why did law enforcement officials in the Northern District of New York – the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the IRS, the NYS Police, the NYS Department of Taxation & Finance, the Albany County District Attorney, the Albany County Sheriff, the Saratoga County District Attorney, and the Saratoga County Sheriff – all refuse to do anything about Raniere and NXIVM for two decades?”. I personally met with every one of those agencies – and turned over hard evidence of some of the NXIVM crime syndicates activities to each of them. And not one of them did anything to stop the NXIVM crime syndicate…

      • That the implementors of justice elected by the people fail to do their jobs is itself an injustice greater than most other injustices. If those entrusted with such responsibility cannot enforce the standard of justice for the common good — and that is precisely what the nature of law is supposed to be — then they become perpetrators of evil. They are the most responsible in enabling general distrust and chaos to enter the system and society at large and injustice to run rampant. In such a situation, neither good or evil people are safe from such ramifications. If justice can be “bought”, either directly via bribery, or indirectly via better defenses or selective enforcement of the law due to one’s status, wealth, beauty, etc., then the system is already corrupt and justice may or may not be enforced, as proper enforcement is inversely proportional to the measure of corruption.

    • Thankfully, a new Administration took over and whoa, Raniere got arrested and extradited. No coincidence the O-hole justice department had no interest. Child trafficking was of no interest to that mob. Enjoy Christmas day, Scottie, as President Trump is still your President. I know I am enjoying mine out here in my 2.5 million dollar house in Hollywood Hills.

  • In the video linked below, Sidney Powell, attorney for General Michael Flynn, discusses prosecutorial misconduct. Or as she puts it, “The weaponization of our entire judicial system.” Ms. Powell is the author of the book Licensed to Lie – Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice.

  • The corrupt power players of Albany fear Frank Parlato and they want to take him out!
    Frank to them is like Serpico was to the NYCPD!

  • Joe, what do you think the government’s motive/reason is to falsely accuse Frank?

    That Shmueli guy looks like a shifty character…I wonder if he has ever used the alias Shmoo Shmoo. LOL. One of my harassers used that alias, but that’s probably coincidental.

    • Protect the more powerful corrupt prosecutors state police and politicians that were paid. Ya the Bronfman/Raniere machine
      This case stinks like a dead fish

    • I believe that Frank was targeted and prosecuted by former U.S. Assistant Attorney Anthony Bruce as a favor to William Savino (Whether Savino paid for that favor is not something I know). And once the Feds invest time and money in a case, they are generally going to see it through even if they come to question its merits. Investigators and prosecutors are evaluated on the basis of their conviction rates – not on the basis of the justness of the outcomes they produce.

  • Ancient Egypt was cursed by a Plague of Locusts.
    Contemporary America is cursed by a Plague of Lawyers.

    The legal profession has ethical rules that are supposed to prevent lawyers from filing frivolous, vexatious, unfounded lawsuits to hurt people.
    And prosecutors are supposed to prevent the criminal justice system from being used to persecute the innocent.

    Does the State of New York Bar have an ethics committee to investigate lawyers like Mr. Savino?
    Or are those ethical rules just window dressing to dupe gullible people into trusting a broken, corrupt legal system?
    Does the US DOJ hold its prosecutors like Mr. Bruce and the infamous Dennis Burke to any standard of ethics?
    Or is Justice for sale to the Bronfmans and their Flying Monkeys?

    Having multiple bank accounts is not a crime by itself.
    There is the saying “Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket.”
    Numerous corporations and business people have multiple bank accounts.
    I have relatives with multiple bank accounts all using their own names and their own Social Security numbers.
    With the prevalence of computer hacking, thanks to people like Nancy Salzman, it is prudent to spread one’s money around many institutions.

  • Joe. Are you trying to say the government makes false charges? That’s not possible. They have all the resources at their disposal to make a full investigation. I am one of those gals who think trials are superfluous. A waste of taxpayer money. The government knows if someone is guilty. Period. End of story. Frank is guilty or they would not have charged him. Joe, no offense but the government does not make mistakes. The FBI and DOJ are excellent. You insult them by suggesting Frank is innocent. That would mean they are stupid or corrupt. No way.

    • Nicki Clyne, aka qwerty8761
      Is this another one of your stand up comedy routines?

      “the government does not make mistakes. ” Janet H. Mueller, aka Nicki Clyne
      Nicki, How much money did the government spend over the last three years investigating a Russian collusion that does not exist?

      By the way Nicki, how much restitution will your wife Allison Mack have to pay for blackmailing , extorting and sex trafficking people?
      Allison has already lost her 230,000 dollar townhouse that was used for sex trafficking and the 60,000 dollars the bankrupt Brandon Porter owed her.

        • More left-wing nuttery from a Trump Derangement child. Nobody has been more attacked by corrupt phony charges than President Trump. Merry Christmas, Scottie, he is still your President and will be for the next 5 years at least.

        • Scott Laux:
          Why is Nutty Nancy Pelosi sitting on the impeachment charges and refusing to send them to the Senate?
          Is it because the charges are bogus?
          “Abuse of Congress”?
          Like we are supposed to worship the corrupt Swamp Creatures in Congress!

          A ploy to blackmail and manipulate and eviscerate the Trump administration before next year’s election?
          Nutty Nancy is the most corrupt politician in the history of San Francisco.
          She is using ginned up charges to stage a coup against a legitimately elected President.

    • You are very naive if you thing prosecutors are all ethical
      First and foremost they chase cases that are a slam dunk
      They operate on stats of cases won
      They don’t chase cases that are difficult to prove
      They protect their friends and donors
      This is reality!
      Take your head out of the sand.

    • Janet, I would politely say you are full of shit. I myself with the prompting of the corrupt crooked Democrap party spent over 50 million in search of a crime that did not exist.

      • Pity is, Mueller, you could have just framed the fucker for half that.

        What’s wrong with you people?! You are just F’ed Beyond Imagination. Get a clue from the Russians! Can’t anyone in the FBI count?!

        • Wake up ding-a-ling. We tried to frame President Trump and fucking failed. We spent at least $50 million. What makes a fucker like you think we could have done it for a mere $25 million. Sorry lady, President Trump is still your President .

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