Fate Brings Conman Shmuel Shmueli Into Frank Parlato’s Life

Shmuel Shmueli serial litigant and scam artist.

Joe O’Hara

[This is Part 6 of a series of articles that I am writing about the U.S. v. Parlato Et Al case. Along the way, I am detailing 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 am also explaining 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

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

Part 4: What Are the Charges in U.S. v. Parlato — and What Do They Mean?

Part 5: The Conman Cometh –Schmuel Schmueli – Who, Combined With the Bronfmans, Led to Parlato’s Indictment


In Part 5 of this series, I explained how Shmuel Schmueli – one of the key figures that led to the indictment of Frank Parlato – was able to scam hundreds of thousands of dollars through baseless and fraudulent legal actions.

Before I move on to other aspects of the U.S. v. Parlato case, I want to delve a little deeper into Shmueli and his bogus operations so that Frank Report readers will have a very clear understanding of just how dishonest and disreputable this guy is.

That’s important because, without the complaints that Shmueli and the Bronfman sisters filed through their mutual attorney, William F. Savino, the FBI would never have initiated an investigation of Frank and his various businesses.

Wee Willie Savino

Based on the business records that were subpoenaed during the course of the FBI’s investigation – and utilizing the technique known as “crime stacking – then-Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony M. Bruce was able to convince a grand jury to approve a 19-count indictment against Frank.

When it was documented that Clare Bronfman had perjured herself in her testimony before that same grand jury – a felony for which she was never charged or prosecuted – the prosecution convinced a new grand jury to issue an 18-count superseding indictment that totally omits any reference to the Bronfman sisters.

 MK10ART’s wonderful painting of Clare Bronfman.

All 18-counts in the superseding indictment are related to actions that Frank took – on the advice of his attorney – to protect his business interests and those of his business partner from Shmueli.

But even though this was all documented and explained to Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce and his colleagues well before the original indictment was issued, they refused to back down.

Anthony Bruce retired after indicting Frank Parlato. Parlato, in turn, has accused him of suborning perjury and fabricating evidence.

Bruce had apparently made a commitment to his good friend, Wee Willie Savino, that Frank Parlato would be indicted regardless of what the facts were.

Using the Bronfman sisters’ money to back up his promises, Keith Raniere, the head of the NXIVM cult, often promised to pay influential attorneys and others large bonuses if they could get one or more of his enemies indicted.

Whether Savino was motivated in a similar fashion is not known – and will likely never be determined unless an independent investigation is someday undertaken by federal law enforcement officials from outside the Western District of New York (WDNY).

In any event, shortly after he fulfilled his commitment to get Frank indicted, Bruce retired from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the WDNY – leaving behind the still-pending case of the U.S. v. Parlato Et Al (The case is scheduled to go to trial in May 2020).

So, let’s take a deeper look at Shmuel Shmueli…


A Trail of Deception & Deceit

In the early days of the Frank Report, Frank did a great job of documenting some of Shmueli’s dishonest practices.

A home mortgage fraud scheme that involved multiple property transfers between family members – and eventually a sale to an innocent couple – resulted in Shmueli being evicted from the premises and ordered to pay the new owners $56,668.81.

At the same time he was engaged in fraudulent schemes regarding his home, Shmueli was also operating Israel Shelanu (“Our Israel”), a weekly Hebrew newspaper in Brooklyn that catered to the local Jewish community.

But rather than pay reporters to write stories, Shmueli’s business model was built on the concept that he would simply re-publish – without permission – stories that appeared in other newspapers. This scheme came to an abrupt halt when several of those other newspapers sued him and his newspaper – and obtained judgments totaling $24 million.

Rather than pay the newspapers that he had ripped off for many years, Shmueli filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York. At the time, he declared $24,501,978 of liabilities and $2,050 of assets.


Shmueli Comes to Niagara Falls

A few years after Shmueli was shut down in Brooklyn, he showed up in Niagara Falls, NY as the agent for David Ho, a Hong Kong businessman who had started what turned out to be a disastrous downtown development project there in 1999.

Five years after this project was launched, it was nothing more than a 40-foot deep hole in the ground just 200 feet from the entrance to the Niagara Falls State Park and a run-down, vacant nine-story building.

But what others saw as a civic disaster, Frank saw as a great business opportunity.


Making Something Out of Nothing

These “before” and “after” photos depict Frank Parlato’s success story in building a robust tourist center at 360 Rainbow Boulevard on the site of the abandoned Occidental Building that had become notable for the giant 40′ deep hole in the front. Parlato rolled up his sleeves, recruited a workforce, and transformed an eyesore into a tourist center, without a dime of taxpayer money and no help from the city.


Working both with Ho – and Larry Reger, a local businessman who had lent $2 million to Ho – Frank came up with a plan that eventually turned the project into a successful venture.

Reger and Frank became business partners – and working together, they turned the hole into a tourist parking lot and attracted numerous businesses to the adjacent 200,000 sq. ft. building that had been empty for years.

Larry Reger became business partners with Frank Parlato – and described him as a great partner. 

Reger received back all of his investment plus interest – and his estate still receives a six-figure annual payment from the project.

All was going well until Ho decided to return to Hong Kong in mid-2007 – and designated Shmueli as his agent.

Within days of Ho’s departure, Shmueli was making various “business proposals” to Frank.

Per one proposal, he wanted Frank to cancel his deal with Larry Reger – and to make Shmueli his new business partner. Frank rejected that proposal.

Per another proposal, he wanted Frank to pay him all the cash that was earned from the parking lot on weekdays – and to keep the parking fees from the weekend for himself (Shmueli wanted this arrangement concealed from both Reger and Ho). Frank rejected that proposal.

When he finally realized that Frank was not going to agree to any of his sleazy proposals, Shmueli switched tactics – and tried to intimidate Frank into doing what he wanted (He obviously did not know Frank very well).

Shmuel Shmueli

He mentioned to Frank that he was associated with Mossad, the infamous Israeli intelligence service – and intimated that bad things could happen to Frank if he didn’t go along with one or more of his proposals.

When that didn’t work, he threatened Frank with numerous lawsuits that he promised would cost Frank hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend – and divert his attention away from his businesses.

Although no one ever from Mossad showed up, Shmueli did, in fact, carry out his threat about the lawsuits.

Over the next several years, Shmueli initiated ten different lawsuits against Frank and Larry Reger.

And utilizing his previously-mentioned, fraudulent litigation scheme, Shmueli got investors to put up money to fund these various lawsuits – and then stiffed most of the attorneys who he hired to represent him.

In all, more than twenty-five attorneys were involved in the numerous lawsuits that Shmueli initiated against Frank and Reger.

In addition to not getting fully paid for all their work, none of those attorneys won a single lawsuit.

At the end of the legal barrage, Frank and Larry Reger had a 10-0 record against Shmuel Shmueli.

They had also spent more than $1 million defending themselves against Shmueli’s legal onslaught.


In Part 7 of this series, I’ll describe in more detail how Frank, acting upon the advice of his attorney, took various proactive measures to protect himself and Larry Reger from Shmueli.

And I’ll document how federal law enforcement officials have attempted to twist those totally legal actions into 18 felony charges against Frank.

Stay tuned…we’re just getting to the good stuff.

About the author

J.J. O'Hara


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  • These are the changes I want to see after the Federal Reserve falls under the impact of it’s own weight. (1) Prosecute frivolous lawsuits to stop the kind of s— mentioned in this post. (2) Prosecute DAs who hide or falsify evidence . (3) Prosecute attorneys who are working the system in the way described by Frank in this most interesting post.US Just Us system is a cruel joke. Nothing dignified or honorable at this time about it.

    • I have no idea what the Federal Reserve has to do with frivolous lawsuits, hiding and falsifying evidence, or prosecuting DAs. Frivolous lawsuits are drastically reduced with strong anti-SLAPP laws, some states have them, some don’t, and some have weak ones. It would be nice to have a federal anti-SLAPP law, but that’s a very high bar, since most federal legislators are lawyers who are lobbied heavily by their buddy lawyers and don’t want to take income away from them. Prosecuting DAs would be even more difficult than passing new state/federal anti-SLAPP lawsuits. It would be very difficult to overcome this without dedicated people who are willing to do far more than post on Frank’s website.

  • It’s amazing the way that nature is such an artist and sculptor through the years to the human face. So often a clean sense of conscience or a kind of goodheartedness shows more markedly as a face gets on in years. So too does greed and dissipation, or malintent show up as more pronounced once youth has flown. People say “you are what you eat.” Yes, and to some eyes, you are what you think.

    Thanks for this series of articles, and I very much hope that Frank Parlato has more than one friend as fine as Joe O’Hara. Frank is a heroic man to me, someone to praise, to support and to admire.

    For many years whenever someone sneezed, a dear old friend of mine used to say, “drop that bastard.” It used to get us laughing. That is how I feel about these sneaks festering around Frank Parlato. “Drop that bastard.” Probably not much help here, but we light candles every night, sending the light of the flame with well wishes all over the sky. The same when drinking water, however silly it might seem, I think of those who need water, ask and pray for them to have what is needed, to have relief.

    Saint Teresa of Avila left some lines found after she died, and her words resound.

    Let nothing disturb thee,
    Nothing affright thee;
    All things are passing, God never changeth!
    Patient endurance
    Attaineth to all things;
    Who God possesseth
    In nothing is wanting;
    Alone God sufficeth.

    This has always been so amazing, how she gave this to everyone.

    • I was thinking the exact same thing, Shivani.

      A mere glance at those 3 faces of demon stooges on this post is already, “Enough said!” Brrrrrr.

      It’s like the Galaxy’s most evil plenatary coalition sent 3 of their most vile criminals in a human-ish form — concealing their sickening, alien appearance (barely) — to lure or conquer the likes of Frank Parlato, Joe O’Hara and John Tighe, Jim O’dato, Catherine Oxenberg, Mark Vicente, Bonnie Piese, Sarah Edmondson, Omar Rosales, indeed, any mere human who dares impede the progress of the NARCISSIST TAKEOVER of the late, great planet Earth.

  • Shmueli, the Rabbi Gangster, mentioned the Israeli Mossad as a meanings of intimidating his opponent.
    The way a Cobra tries to hypnotize its prey.
    And Shmueli started making proposals that Frank Parlato and his business partners could not refuse.

    Speaking of David Ho Bloomberg lists Mr. Ho as a Board member of Caltex South China Investments Ltd
    but Bloomberg gives its address as a building in Shanghai, not Hong Kong and lists no website or phone number for the company.
    Moreover the company has no employees.

    Metropole Building 16th Floor Shanghai China




    For those of you not familiar with the oil industry CalTex is often a name used by Chevron and Texaco for their international business subsidiaries.
    CalTex is a famous name in Asia.
    However it is highly unusual that an oil and gas company in this day and age have no phone number and website and no employees.
    Being in Shanghai, China it is highly unlikely that a corrupt anti-American chinese court would hold this company liable for anything.

    Indeed the Metropole Building is a Shanghai Hotel built in 1930.
    It does not appear to be an office building at all.

    Could Shmueli and Ho have been working together?

    • Frank:
      Looking up the Metropole Hotel in Shanghai China I discovered that this old building, built in 1930, is owned by the Chinese government itself.

      The Metropole Hotel is owned by Jinjiang International, a company owned by the Chinese government.

      Jin Jiang International Holdings Company Limited is a Chinese state-owned tourism and hospitality company headquartered in Shanghai.
      The Group operates Shanghai’s well known Jinjiang Hotel, Peace Hotel, Park Hotel and Metropole Hotel.

      If Shmueli’s friend David Ho has offices in a building owned by the Chinese government, could Mr. Ho be working with the Chinese government?

      • He might have been. He originally made his money in petro, Ho seems to have disappeared altogether. Schmueli told me he had dementia.

  • That the prosecution would move forward with an indictment and case that is so clearly contrived by a proven criminal syndicate and known fraudster Schmuel who were apparently working in concert with a then US atty. I’d say odds are extremely in Frank’s favor for an acquittal or dismissal as any continuation of this matter further, the Court would be complicit with these criminal’s conduct. No?

  • Can you explain why Frank has to wait until May 2020 for his trial if he was indicted back in November 2015. How is it that Raniere and Stone who were arrested after Frank have already been tried and convicted while Frank has to wait until next year for his day in court. Since Frank thinks he will be found innocent why couldn’t he get his trial over with within a year or two after being indicted? Why does Frank have to carry the cloud of being a criminally indicted horrible person around for so many years?

    • There are several reasons why Frank’s trial has been delayed so long: e.g., motion practice, a superseding indictment that started a new ticking of the “speedy trial clock”, attorney commitments on other cases, etc. But such delays are also one of the weapons that prosecutors often use to encourage defendants to take a plea deal because the longer it takes to get to trial, the more the defendant has to spend along the way.

      The ideal defendant for the prosecution is one that has burned through all their savings – and who is barely hanging on financially. That’s when they like to swoop in – and offer a new “plea deal” that the defendant ends up taking out of desperation.

  • I remember that huge hole well. There was a huge ass pit in one of the world’s most beautiful places Chantilly secured by a fence. Still, to this day, I don’t know how any passing pedestrians didn’t slip into the hole and break their necks. Literally millions of people passed a man-made graveyard to see the beautiful Niagara Falls. If She-Muel wanted the money from the parking lot, he should have been the one on the phone looking for dirt to fill that god-forsaken hole. Frank, I remember this guy now. I remember him being a smelly creepy dude always lurking around. I never liked that guy, he always gave me the creeps.

  • “Using the Bronfman sisters’ money to back up his promises, Keith Raniere, the head of the NXIVM cult, often promised to pay influential attorneys and others large bonuses if they could get one or more of his enemies indicted…In any event, shortly after he fulfilled his commitment to get Frank indicted, Bruce retired from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the WDNY…”

    Was Bruce perhaps a recipient of a ‘bonus’, hence the quick departure into retirement?

    • The only way we’ll ever get the answer to your question is if investigators from another federal region – such as the Eastern District of New York – were to be assigned to investigate this case. While there are certainly legitimate reasons for that to happen, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it to start. I don’t think the Feds are anxious to have the truth come out in this case.

  • So Ho left. Shmueli had an agreement for payment with Ho (unenforceable?) Scmueli was trying to collect from Frank, but lost the lawsuits bc the Ho agreement was unenforceable…..? So Scmueli lacked standing?

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