1:12-cv-00252-GLS-ATB O'Hara v. Raniere et al
Gary L. Sharpe, presiding
Andrew T. Baxter, referral
Date filed: 02/09/2012
Nature of Suit: 440 Cause: 28:1331 Federal Question: Other Civil Rights
Plaintiff: Joseph J. O'Hara
Defendant: Keith A. Raniere
Defendant: Nancy Salzman
Defendant: Kristin Keeffe
Defendant: Clare W. Bronfman
Defendant: Sara R. Bronfman
Defendant: Executive Success Programs, Inc.
Defendant: First Principles Incorporated
Defendant: NXIVM Corporation
Defendant: NXIVM Corporation
Defendant: NXIVM LLC
Defendant: NXIVM Properties LLC
Defendant: P. David Soares
Defendant: Albany County, New York
Defendant: Proskauer Rose LLP
Defendant: Scott A. Eggers
Defendant: Scott Harshbarger
Defendant: Douglas C. Rennie
Defendant: Peter J.W. Sherwin
Defendant: O'Connell and Aronowitz
Defendant: Stephen R. Coffey
Defendant: Joshua E. McMahon
Defendant: Pamela A. Nichols
Defendant: Andrew J. Safranko
Defendant: Richard H. Weiskopf
Defendant: Damon Morey LLP
Defendant: Beth A. Bivona
Defendant: William F. Savino
Defendant: Bernard Schenkler
Defendant: Gregory Zini
Defendant: Bartolomei & Associates PC
Defendant: John P. Bartolomei
Defendant: To-Be-Named Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Not-For Profit Corporations, Partnerships, Unincorporated Business Entities, Foundations, Trusts and Other Entities
Defendant: To-Be-Named NXIVM Senior Counselors, NXIVM Counselors, NXIVM Senior Proctors, NXIVM Proctors, NXIVM Senior Coaches and NXIVM Coaches
Defendant: To-Be-Named Law Firms and Individual Attorneys
A whole bunch of NXIVM’s ass-kissing buddies, and many of the company’s “phalanx of attorneys” now find themselves on the wrong end on a multi-count, multi-million dollar federal lawsuit.
After years of using the legal system to assault and brutalize anyone who had the balls to walk away from NXIVM’s brand of craziness or who had information that might document some of NXIVM’s alleged illegal activities, Raniere and his inner circle are now being sued by one of the very people that they have sought to destroy, both personally and professionally, over the course of the last 7 years. That’s because former NXIVM consultant Joe Ohara recently stepped up and served notice that he’s “not going to take it anymore” by filing a lawsuit in the local U.S. District Court that has the potential to tear down the legal shield/curtain that NXIVM has been hiding behind since it first came into existence.
One of the things that’s intriguing about Ohara’s lawsuit is that in addition to suing Raniere, Nurse Nancy, Kristin Keefe and the Bronfman brats, he’s also suing many of the lawyers and law firms that have been leading the charge against former members of NXIVM. See the full Complaint in Ohara’s lawsuit HERE. And he’s left open the possibility of adding many more lawyers and law firms as defendants as the lawsuit winds its way through the legal system.
Another intriguing aspect of the lawsuit is that Ohara has left open the possibility of adding additional members of NXIVM as individual defendants (HERE) and additional companies that are associated with NXIVM (HERE). Gee, I wonder if old Clare is going to hire individual lawyers for everyone.
The lawsuit begins with a series of general allegations concerning NXIVM, Raniere and other key players in the cult’s operations. These include the following:
- Raniere controls every aspect of NXIVM and all of the other NXIVM-related businesses.
- NXIVM and all of its related business are not entitled to be treated as separate legal entities, thereby exposing their owners, directors, officers and staff to individual liability.
- Because NXIVM and all of the other NXIVM-related businesses are financially dependent on the Bronfman sisters, Sara and Clare must be treated as the owners of all of those entities, thereby making them personally liable for any wrongdoing that those entities engaged in;
- The named defendants are part of a complex and conspiratorial scheme that involves some or all of the following activities: bank fraud; bribery; business fraud and theft; charities fraud; conspiracy; corruption and/or attempted corruption of public officials; endangering the welfare of a child; filing false instruments; insurance fraud; violations of Federal and State campaign finance statutes and regulations; immigration fraud; labor fraud; mail fraud; money laundering; obstruction of justice; perjury; structuring; tax evasion; tax fraud; theft of services; and wire fraud.
- NXIVM is structured as a multi-level marketing (MLM) company and operates as a Ponzi scheme.
- NXIVM has used a lot of high-powered lobbyists and politicos to try and cause problems for Ohara and other defectors: John Bartolomei, Steve Bogess, Alphonse D’Amato, Byron Georgiou, Richard Mays, Robert McLarty, Paul Neville, Steve Pigeon, and Roger Stone.
- NXIVM has tried to get several defectors indicted in various States.
- NXIVM baby mama Kristin Keefe worked in David Soares office as a Legal Intern to help get Ohara indicted and gave copies of documents that the DA’s office had obtained in its investigation of Ohara to lawyers who were representing NXIVM at the time in its lawsuit against Ohara.
- NXIVM has harassed Ohara over the years by filing fictitious change-of-address cards for him with the Post Office; by cutting the telephone line and cable line at his house; by spray painting “You will die in 7 days” on his property; and by filing a false complaint against him with the Washington, DC bar association.
- NXIVM purchased some of Ohara’s private emails from his former company, Accelify LLC.
The specific causes-of-action and the amount of damages that Ohara is seeking are as follows:
1. Civil conspiracy: $500,000
2. Punitive damages: for civil conspiracy: $1,000,000
3. Violation of civil rights: $500,000
4. Punitive damages for violation of civil rights: $1,000,000
5. Violation of constitutional right to privacy: $500,000
6. Punitive damages for violation of constitutional right to privacy: $1,000,000
7. Retaliation: $500,000
8. Punitive damages for retaliation: $1,000,000
9. Copyright violations and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act: $10,000 per email
10. Punitive damages for copyright violations and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act: $1,000,000
11. Infliction of severe emotional, financial, mental and physical stress: $500,000
12. Punitive damages for infliction of severe emotional, financial, mental and physical stress: $1,000,000
13. Additional punitive damages: $5,000,000
In reading over Ohara’s lawsuit, it became clear that he is a man who has lost just about everything he ever had and that he has drawn a line in the sand for one final epic battle with Raniere and NXIVM. And as Kris Kristofferson aptly noted many years ago: “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.”