Bangkok asked me some reasonable questions in a recent comment.
I think they should be answered.
His comments and questions are in bold
Frank, Your response in the post, I’m Proud of What I Did for Nxivm was a pretty good one. You made it clear that Clare was no stranger to you.
You had been working with Clare & Keith for several months before the $1 million dollar payment was made. Plus you had already uncovered the fraud for her (i.e., you had already provided valuable services for her). That would have built up some trust. That’s a logical explanation for her wiring you the money. Thank you.
I’m assuming you want us to play devil’s advocate and ask what a curious jury member might wanna know.
Joe O’Hara made it clear that all of your bank accounts and companies were registered in your own name and SSN, thereby making it clear that you weren’t trying to hide any money from the IRS or any private persons that the government is ‘alleging’ you were trying to defraud using the Fedwire system (wire fraud).
Three questions though:
1) According to your previous posts, the final bank account which held the money was an interest bearing ‘escrow’ account, which presumably is not an account that has your name and SSN as the owner. Thus, I’d like you to elaborate on the details of this escrow account, including who owns it and who has the authority to decide when this money gets to be released to either you or Clare?
Frank Parlato answers:
The bank accounts that held the $1 million that was wired to me by Clare and Sara Bronfman in January 2007, most certainly had my name and social security number attached.
Since August 2015, when the $1 million was seized by the DOJ, the money has been held by the US Marshals Office. I understand the money is held in an interest-bearing account. When I am acquitted in my criminal case, the $1 million, plus interest, will be returned to me.
I will, of course, still have to win the civil lawsuit [Bronfman v Parlato] to have clear title to the $1 million.
The civil lawsuit, if it proceeds, will not take place until after my criminal trial. By that time, Clare Bronfman will likely be in federal prison. Sara Bronfman has consistently refused to return to the US which has prevented me from deposing her.
I doubt she will show up for the trial.
This suggests that the plaintiffs’ case may be dismissed with a judgment in my favor. But even if it were fully tried, I am confident of victory.
2) Because you said it was an interest bearing escrow account, were 1099-INT forms issued in 2008, 2009, 2010 and beyond? Again, I just want more details on who reported that interest income on their tax returns for 2008, 2009, 2010 and beyond.
Frank Parlato Answer:
Any interest earned on the bank accounts that held the $1 million was reported on my personal income tax in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
Since mid-2010 and until August 2015, [when the money was seized], I donated 100 percent of the interest earned on the $1 million to legal aid for low-income and underserved residents.
3) With regard to the dozens of bank accounts that you allegedly routed this money thru… Since they all had your name and SSN registered as the sole owner, what made you think that you’d gain ANY benefit by ‘obfuscating’ the flow of money thru these accounts?
The only real benefit (from obfuscating money thru dozens of accounts) is to ‘slow down’ the time in which civil litigants might find out where the money really went —– by creating the need for dozens of subpoenas for more and more bank account records, thus dragging this process out for as long as possible.
While certainly not illegal, a jury will want to know WHY you’d want to ‘slow down’ and ‘obfuscate’ any civil lawsuits from Clare or anybody else —– especially since your main ‘defense’ is that you were expecting a civil court to decide this matter and you were 100% willing to abide by its decisions.
Frank Parlato Answer:
The use of various bank accounts had nothing to do with the Bronfman litigation.
The purpose of using various bank accounts was to protect company and personal assets from a vexatious, dishonest, perjurious litigator named Shmuel Shmueli who was attempting a hostile takeover of a company I was the managing member of, called One Niagara LLC.
All accounts had my name and social security number attached – which means that there was no attempt, as the government falsely alleges, to impede the IRS. All taxable results of the use of the accounts were considered by my accountant and overseen by my lawyer so that the use of the bank accounts was incorporated on business and personal tax returns.
The government was misled by former AUSA Anthony Bruce on the merits of this case, as I soon will demonstrate to the world at trial.
It will expose how a corrupt prosecutor can get away with indicting an innocent person. In most cases, and I think it happens more than the public realizes – since there are truly no checks on prosecutors – that innocent person simply caves and takes a plea deal and lies to the judge in their allocution that they did something that they did not.
Why should we expect prosecutors, who are promoted by the number of convictions they achieve, to be more honest than say a senator, or a president, whether of a corporation or a country?
When did power not corrupt? However, in fairness, I think Bruce’s successors are, unlike him, fundamentally honest. I think they’ll have a rather big and unpleasant surprise when they dive into this case and see the incredible injustice of it and how impossible their evidence is.
But it’s not for me to say what they will do about that.
I can only speak for myself.
My sole goal in opening various bank accounts had nothing to do with the Bronfmans [or impeding the IRS]. It was to prevent a dishonest litigator with no legitimate claim to the money, a man named Shmuel Shmueli, from Israel, from successfully making an application of attachment and getting the money and thereby cratering a Niagara Falls company that employed about 60 people.
By the way, I was successful. I ultimately won all 10 lawsuits Shmueli brought against the various companies I managed and against myself.
Shmueli was a relentless, unprincipled, unpredictable litigator.
From 2007-2015, I was in constant litigation with him. He was billed, I estimated, more than $2 million in billable hours by various lawyers who represented him in suing me.
He stiffed most of his lawyers he retained to wage his litigation war that lasted over eight years.
He used different lawyers for different lawsuits conducted at the same time. At one time, he had five different lawsuits against me at the same time, in three different courts.
His affidavits were so suspect that his lawyers refused to sign the standard attorney verification forms.
He finally lost his last lawsuit in 2015. My plan was successful. Shmueli never seized company assets or my money throughout the long years of his dishonest litigation.
Here is a list of lawyers who represented him on his lawsuits against me – all of whom later withdrew from representation and/or sued him [He also sued some of them as well.]
- Damon & Morey
- Anderson & Anderson
- Kloss, Stenger & Lotempio
- Zdarski, Sawicki & Agostinelli
- Steven Cohen
- Jaeckle, Fleischmann & Mugel
- Andrew Lavoot Bluestone
- Kazlow & Kazlow
- Michael Paskowitz
- Newhouse & Yacoob
- Robert Coryl
I believe Shmueli earned his money to sustain himself over the years through litigation financing. He would get foreign investors to fund his litigation. The money he raised was supposed to go to lawyers. But he made money by skimming off the top and stiffing his lawyers.
Even when he lost a lawsuit, he made money.
On the one hand, you seem to be suggesting that you were simply holding the money in plain sight via an escrow account, thereby abiding by any future court’s decision on who that money belongs to. Okay, that’s logical.
But on the other hand, your lawyer (back in 2008) seems to have advised you to open up dozens of bank accounts to obfuscate the flow of this same money, thereby making it harder for civil litigants to find out where that money was located. ….Problem is, that kinda contradicts your first claim a little bit, unless you can explain it better for us.
You’re confusing the Bronfman litigation with the Shmueli litigation. The bank accounts were used to safeguard company money and my own personal money from the extremely dishonest Shmueli.
His lawsuits were separate from the Bronfman matter. Compared to Shmueli, the Bronfman-Raniere litigation techniques were pleasant and straightforward.
Although, curiously for a time, the Bronfmans and Shmueli had the same lawyer, William Savino, who happened to be a friend of the AUSA who indicted me, Anthony Bruce.
Savino finally had to ditch Shmueli when he did not pay his bills.
But during that interval before Shmueli stiffed Savino, things turned really nasty. It was Savino who, I believe, went to corrupt AUSA Anthony Bruce and got him to agree to indict me, regardless of the evidence.
I suspect Savino was bonused for this dishonest endeavor by the Bronfmans. I do not know if Bruce accepted a bribe. I cannot say he did. He might have just wanted to indict an innocent man and do a favor for a friend who was certainly going to be enriched by it.
I believe, based on Bruce’s track record, that he did not care if someone was innocent. Ruining a person is ruining a person, why spoil it by ethics?
Besides, like another psychopath, Keith Raniere, I think Bruce preferred to indict the innocent. It is much more thrilling than indicting the guilty.
All this will come out in the trial and the film that comes afterward. Believe me, Bruce will be one of the leading characters in it.