What Are the Charges in U.S. v. Parlato — and What Do They Mean?

Joe O’Hara

[This is Part 4 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 the Bronfman Sisters

Part 3: The Federal Case Against Frank Parlato – a Prosecution in Search of a Crime


As noted in the most recent post concerning the matter of U.S. v. Parlato Et Al, Frank Parlato was originally indicted in the Western District of New York (WDNY) on November 20, 2015 – and charged with nineteen felony counts of criminal activity:

– One (1) count of “impeding, impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the Internal Revenue Service…in the ascertainment, computation, assessment and collection of…income taxes”.

– One (1) count of corruptly endeavoring “…to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws.

– Seven (7) counts of making illegal wire transfers.

– One (1) count of conspiring to commit wire fraud.

– Nine (9) counts of engaging in illegal monetary transactions.


On May 23, 2018, a superseding indictment was issued in the case. The new indictment included the following eighteen (18) counts:

– One (1) count of “Conspiracy to Impede, Obstruct and Impair the IRS and to Commit Wire Fraud”;

– Seven (10) counts of “Wire Fraud”; and

– Ten (10) counts of “Engaging in Monetary Transactions in Property Derived From Specified Unlawful Activity”.

Before we get into the details of the allegations set forth in the superseding indictment, let’s look at some of the differences between it and the original indictment.


Charges Involving the Bronfman Sisters Dismissed

One of the major differences between the two filings is that the superseding indictment totally eliminates any references to Clare and Sara Bronfman.

Clare (l) and Sara (r) Bronfman are not mentioned at all in the superseding indictment against Frank Parlato. 

That’s because, in the intervening thirty months, proof had emerged that Clare Bronfman had, in fact, perjured herself in her testimony to the Grand Jury that handed down the original indictment (Frank had provided the then-lead WDNY prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony M. Bruce, with proof of Clare’s perjury even before the original indictment was issued but Bruce chose to ignore that information).

In addition, the WDNY prosecutors had undoubtedly been tipped off that Clare was about to be indicted in the Eastern District of New York.

Clare Bronfman perjured herself before a Grand Jury in order to get Frank Parlato indicted.

Clare was, in fact, charged with the following criminal acts: Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy, and Conspiracy to Commit Identity Theft (The identity theft charge was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds – and referred to the Northern District of New York for prosecution).

She pleaded guilty to two lesser felonies – harboring an illegal immigrant and enabling credit card fraud – and will be sentenced on February 14, 2020 on those convictions.


Original Count 2 Dropped

Another major difference between the two filings is that the superseding indictment also dropped the original Count 2 charge that involved the alleged endeavoring “…to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws”.

That was done because in the intervening time period the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Molinaro v. United States totally undercut the basis for that charge in Frank’s case.


Other Differences

Most of the other differences between the original indictment and the superseding indictment are relatively minor in nature.

For example, the superseding indictment extends the time frame for Count 1 from 2014 to 2017 – and this charge now focuses on payments that were received from outdoor vendors.

Which is really interesting because it is not alleged that these vendors were victims of Frank’s alleged illegal actions.

Instead, it’s alleged that the payments he received from them were part of the overt acts he undertook in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy to impair and impede the IRS in the computation of taxes owed by him and his companies.

The superseding indictment also alleges that Frank was late in filing his federal income tax returns for several years. There is, however, no count that specifically charges him with not paying any taxes that he actually owed.

In addition to deleting the Bronfman sisters as alleged victims, the superseding indictment also eliminates the State of New York and local taxing authorities from that category. No explanation was provided for these deletions.

The superseding indictment also includes one new financial transaction that is alleged to have involved money laundering: i.e., a $72,000 funds transfer that was made on February 14, 2014.

Finally, the superseding indictment also indicates that the alleged purpose of the wire fraud conspiracy was to defraud “L.R.” (Larry Reger), one of Frank’s business partners.

The late Larry Reger is the alleged victim of Frank Parlato. This is convenient for the government since Reger cannot testify. However, just 13 days before he died, Reger gave sworn testimony in a civil case that Parlato was a good business partner. The government, already heavily invested in prosecuting Frank, and having lost the Bronfman sisters as credible victims, ignored Reger’s inconvenient testimony. It is understandable. The government needs a victim. There is no living alleged victim other than the Bronfmans. With a dead man, they might have a chance.


So, What Exactly Is It That Frank Allegedly Did Wrong?

Indictments generally allege very specific criminal conduct on the part of the defendant(s).

Example #1: The defendant shot and killed John Doe by firing three shots into his body at or about 10:00 AM on April 5, 2019 at the premises located at 1234 State Street in Buffalo, NY.

Example #2: Both defendants robbed the ABC Bank located at 1234 Main Street in Buffalo, NY at or about 2:30 PM on September 23, 2018 – and each displayed what appeared to be a handgun in the commission of that crime.

In Frank’s case, however, the allegations are much more nebulous.

Stripped down to its essentials, the prosecution’s case basically alleges that Frank created fifteen business entities – and opened multiple bank accounts – in order to defraud “L.R.” and to interfere with the operations of the IRS.

Perhaps what’s really important is what’s NOT in the superseding indictment.

It does NOT mention that Frank deposited the entire $1 million that he received from the Bronfman sisters into an escrow account – and never accessed even $1.00 of those funds.

It does NOT allege that Frank stole any money from “L.R.” or anyone else.

It does NOT allege that Frank owed any taxes at the time the indictment was issued.

It does NOT mention the circumstances that led Frank to create multiple companies and open multiple bank accounts – and it does NOT mention that all of these actions were undertaken under the advice of his attorney.

It does NOT reveal that every cited bank account was opened under Frank’s name and Social Security Number.

It does NOT indicate that almost half of the cited bank accounts were, in fact, companion Savings Accounts linked to Checking Accounts in the same name.

It does NOT note that “L.R.” – who happens to have been a very wealthy and very sophisticated entrepreneur in Buffalo, NY – never claimed to have been defrauded and never asserted any civil claims against Frank or Frank’s businesses.

On the contrary, “L.R.” described his business dealings with Frank as being very fair and very profitable.

And the attorney who represented “L.R.” in all his business dealings described him as being very satisfied with his dealings with Frank.


Insinuation Is Not the Same as Evidence of Wrongdoing

There is nothing illegal about having multiple bank accounts.

There is nothing illegal about owning multiple companies.

There is nothing illegal about undertaking actions for sound business reasons and under the advice of your attorney.

Rather than providing hard evidence that Frank committed any crime, the prosecution will be trying to convince the jury that he must have committed some crime because he created all these companies and opened all these bank accounts.

And, of course, he’s been charged with eighteen felonies.

Hopefully, the jury will see right through this contrivance – and acquit Frank of all charges.


It seems hard for people to believe a prosecutor could be corrupt. It is ironic. People easily believe a policeman, a senator or even a president could be corrupt. What makes a prosecutor, who rises in status by the number of convictions they win, immune from corruption? Pictured above is former Assistant US Attorney Anthony Bruce, who retired right after indicting Frank Parlato. He is a personal friend of Bronfman’s attorney William Savino.

About the author

J.J. O'Hara


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  • Re Frank’s multiple accounts

    I believe Frank had the multiple accounts to take full advantage of FDIC policy rules as pertains to the law.

    It’s perfectly legal to set up multiple accounts within the same bank and separate accounts in multiple individual banks to take advantage of the FDIC rules.
    Frank clearly has a net worth over 2 million and most likely has good liquidity. High net worth individuals usually have multiple bank accounts to diverse risk because of the $250,000 cap on single accounts. Most Americans have no idea how FDIC works. The majority of wealthy people in the USA have multiple accounts types and multiple accounts at different banks. Only a fool does not manage and diversify financial risk.

    How FDIC insurance works for risk management:

    In addition, Frank probably has two brokerage accounts because the FDIC does not insure such financial instruments as stocks and bonds.

    • Well explained, Nice Guy. Frank would definitely be of a mind to manage and diversify risk under the ‘special’ condition of being subjected to relentless vexatious litigation. Only a fool would have placed all their eggs in one basket, with predators like nx. on the prowl and, as we all know and the Bronfman’s et al should know or are about to find out, Frank Parlato is no type of fool.

    • No, unfortunately, as long as each count in the indictment cites a different crime, each one is treated separately. This so-called “crime stacking” allows prosecutors to put a defendant at risk of being severely over-sentenced for one criminal act – and is one of the primary reasons why 97% of federal indictments end up with plea deals.

    • I’d like to thank Mr. Parlato. I was living just blocks down the road from One Niagara on down from the falls. Anyone from the area knows it’s not pretty there. Local Govt always says they going to help bring in jobs, clean up the crime. They all lied. But then comes Mr. Frank. He filled that God-forsaken mammoth hole in and brought jobs to the town. That dirty old Anthony Bruce is pure evil. So many of us living in poverty. But he brought in work for us. He’s a keeper. You’re going to win Mr. P. Win for me. Teach those s.o.b.s to quit shitting on us. You worked hard for your money. It’s no one’s business what you do with it.

  • Dead men can be victims too. This poor Reger guy he probably died broke because he was swindled. It’s horrible. The Feds are looking out for him. Just because he didn’t know he was swindled don’t mean he wasn’t. And just because the Bronfman charges were dropped doesn’t mean they aren’t victims. The feds just probably dropped it because they aren’t sympathetic. I don’t know the case but I know the DOJ and the FBI and they are the finest and most ethical Law Enforcement organization in the World. In fact they are so ethical that I would vote to dispense with trials. They are superfluous and wasteful. The FBI knows who’s guilty. Why waste taxpayer money with bullshit trials when the people charged are guilty anyway. Joe O’Hara what you don’t get when you quote the 97 percent conviction rate is thy 100 percent are guilty and 3 percent get off because of dumb juries.

    • Nexium troll, your mockery of FR and law enforcement will be back to bite you in the ass. Laugh now, cos you and your corrupt friends in the NDNY could well be crying in front of a less sympathetic judge than the one that put your leader away. Merry yuletide.

  • It sounds a lot like the impeachment. Dropping of the original charges, the supposed victims not actually being hurt, and assumptions and inference instead of hard facts.

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