Earlier this week, I published the letter of Ruth McMurray to the US District Court Judge Hon. Richard Arcara for his consideration in my sentencing, which took place on July 31, 2023.
As I mentioned in the post, I did not publish any letters of support for me before my sentencing, out of respect for the judge.
I did publish one letter of one detractor, Toni Natalie, because I felt her criticisms of me ought to be aired before my readers so they could determine her veracity – and mine.
Now that I have been sentenced, I have chosen to publish some of the important letters submitted to the court written in support of me.
One of the most important figures in NXIVM, Kristin Keeffe, played a significant role in providing information to the prosecution, which ultimately convicted Keith Raniere, Nancy Salzman and Clare Bronfman.
By Kristin Keeffe
To The Honorable Judge Arcara,
I have known Frank Parlato for fifteen years. We met in late 2007 when he was hired as a consultant for the NXIVM Corp, and Clare and Sara Bronfman. At that time, I was the senior paralegal for NXIVM and the Bronfman’s and Frank’s main and usually only point of contact for his position. I have a child with NXIVM’s leader Keith Raniere who was born in 2006.
During our work together at that time, Frank discovered an enormous financial fraud happening within a Los Angeles real estate development project Clare and Sara had invested $26 million in.
He uncovered the fraud, and deftly took over the company for them saving their investment and the company whose value was $82 million. It was a huge effort and Frank worked tirelessly around the clock. I had never worked with someone so competent and diligent. It was stunning. Despite his success, Clare and Sara ended their business relationship with Frank acrimoniously shortly thereafter. Much to my dismay.
Three years later, out of nowhere, Clare informed me she wanted to sue Frank. I was tasked with meeting with her attorney to evaluate a potential civil action against him. I did so, and the attorney informed me there were no grounds for a civil lawsuit based on careful review of all our business dealings with Frank.
I was relieved. By then I was desperate to get my son and I away from NXIVM, Keith Raniere, and Clare and the last thing I wanted to be involved with was a bad faith civil litigation against a good person.
Keith Raniere and his top assistant Nancy Salzman
Without my knowledge Clare went ahead and filed a civil lawsuit against Frank anyway and made a criminal complaint.
In early 2014, after years of trying to find a way out of this horrible cult and witnessing a continuous escalation of criminal conduct by Keith and Clare, I went to the New York State Police and reported all the criminal activity I was aware of. Keith and Clare found out and I had to go on the run from them with literally only the clothes on my back and my young son in tow.
My whole life had been this cult, I didn’t have a single friend or contact outside of it. Overnight, every single person I knew was against me. I was terrified for myself but even more for my son.
When I worked with Frank years before, he had no idea the abuses that were happening in secret to me and other women in NXIVM, nor did I tell him. I hid it. However, he must have sensed something was off and one day he had said to me as an aside “you know, if you ever want to leave these people, I usually keep a second home in Florida. You could go there, and I can help you start over.” I said, “Thanks” and we never discussed it again.
Then in 2014, after going from domestic violence shelter to domestic violence shelter for weeks on end with my son, trying to get as far away from NY as possible, I remembered this. The State Police had decided to do nothing to investigate NXIVM or protect us. Not a single friend or anyone I knew would help us. Keith filed a lawsuit against me, Clare hired a team of private investigators to hunt me down and gave them a $1 million budget. She made a false criminal complaint against me with the New York State Police accusing me of theft.
I called Frank. We hadn’t talked in many years. I said, “Can you help me?” He said, “0f course. Where are you?” My son and I were in a shelter in Virginia, and he sent an assistant to immediately come and get us and brought us to Florida. You’d think I’d have been shocked at the time, but I wasn’t, because that is the kind of person Frank is.
Matt Malone, a private investigator and IT specialist, revealed to FR that Clare Bronfman spent hundreds of thousands to hunt down Kristin Keeffe. What she planned to do once they found her is a subject for another day….
I knew he would help us and in the years since I have watched him help so many other people too. He gave us a little guest apartment to stay in, bought us clothes, a phone, a computer. He interfaced with the State Police for me to make sure the false charges Clare had filed against me were dropped. He talked to the press for me when news of my escape hit Albany. He helped us in every way, and he saved our lives, literally.
Frank never once considered the potential peril to himself for helping us either. Since then and despite facing enormous hardship in his own life he has been a rock of support throughout the years. He’s always someone I know we can count on. I would be heartbroken if after all the good Frank has done, he was sentenced to prison.
Thanks to Kristin and others’ good efforts, I was not sentenced to prison. The judge mentioned these letters – 78 in total – adding that they were “very powerful.” He sentenced me to 12 months probation – with five of those 12 months on home detention. My crime of conviction was the failure to file IRS Form 8300 in 2010, where I failed to report that I collected $19,970 in cash in rent from a food stand vendor. While I reported the income on my tax returns and paid taxes on the $19,970, I was also required to file Form 8300, which I did not do.
I thank Kristin and my other friends and supporters who stood by me at a crucial time in my life. It is not something one easily forgets.