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Buffalo News: Feds drop charges that Frank Parlato Jr. stole from Seagrams heirs

By Frank Parlato

“After nearly three years, federal prosecutors are dropping charges that Niagara Falls developer Frank Parlato Jr. stole $1 million from two heirs to the Seagrams liquor fortune.”

Read complete story in the Buffalo News

Parlato’s full statement below:

There are some changes in the federal case [Western District of NY] against me. I am planning on reporting more fully later.

Briefly, the prosecution has filed a superseding indictment against me, dropping the Bronfmans as victims but fabricating a false narrative – possibly to save face.

It’s as if a drop of blood and a knife were found on Tuesday, and Jerry is missing, so on Wednesday, Tom is indicted for Jerry’s murder; but on Thursday, Jerry shows up and is back home, safe and sound, untouched by Tom, having returned from a holiday. Still, on Friday, the indictment for murdering Jerry still lingers on against Tom. That sums up this case.

This indictment was flawed –  from the beginning. The prosecution have now effectively admitted their mistake by dropping the Bronfmans as victims, I think because of my reporting that led to the indictment of this sex slavery cult and charges against Keith Raniere, and others who had been plotting against me.

I am glad to have played a part, through my reporting, in bringing this criminal enterprise to justice. I have been credited by many organizations across the country with providing the information that led to the indictment against Raniere.

Now back to my case: Once again, as with the Bronfman case, I’m innocent. I was in a fight for my very life with an unscrupulous minority-interest partner in One Niagara [Shmuel Shmueli]and I took all the precautions I thought I could muster to protect my assets and the assets of One Niagara, a building I built up from nothing with scotch tape and band aids to make it what it is today – from his constant legal attacks.

I left my successors a business that continues to be successful.  After 10 lawsuits which I and my partners won – Shmueli disappeared – admitting by his actions that he was wrong from the start.

The new indictment is still flawed even without the Bronfman piece.  There are no victims, but only success stories, except for myself. I am the victim and I am left with this indictment, alleging I committed crimes that I did not.

This has now been going on for seven years. The original indictment is nearing three years old. I have been offered plea deals. I have declined them all. I will never admit to doing something I did not do.

The prosecution tried to gag me. They did not want me to tell my side of the story, and did not want me writing stories relating to their alleged “victims” – the Bronfman-led sex cult. Had I not fought back, Raniere and Bronfman would probably still be coercing, branding, blackmailing and silencing women now.

I will continue to fight on to prove my innocence, just as I did with the Bronfmans –  against a prosecution seemingly more concerned with convictions than justice.

Here is the superseding indictment:

Keep in mind if you read through it that the allegations of crimes are not crimes at all. This is a case where some of allegations are true but they are NOT criminal acts. They are all combined together to create a false narrative.  What the prosecution did was omit all the qualifying facts that would demonstrably prove there was no crime committed. It is not illegal to wire money or collect a check, for example. Or to pay someone – even in cash. It is not illegal to have bank accounts. It is their tortured omission of all the qualifying facts that the prosecution allege makes it criminal.

I do understand the prosecution’s dilemma. They built a case around a star witness – Clare Bronfman. A very convincing liar. And she is now proven to be a very unsavory witness – the financier of a sex slavery cult. She is likely to be indicted herself. I tried repeatedly before I was indicted in 2015 to show the prosecution that the Bronfmans were the real criminals. I was ignored. As a result, women were branded and blackmailed.

I have been hounded by prosecutors – one in particular who retired right after my indictment – who did not care at all to do anything but get me.

There is an endemic problem with the DOJ and the FBI. I understand it. They cannot admit they are wrong. If they so admit being wrong – they lose their reputation as being infallible.  This might make juries doubtful. They therefore have to win – even put innocent people in prison – if need be – for the sake of their reputation.

Here is what one legal commentator who read the superseding indictment said:

“There’s a lot of “meat” (i.e., financial transactions) but very few “bones” (i.e., an explanation of why any of those transactions would be illegal).

“It looks to me like the Feds’ basic game plan is to make all sorts of allegations, offer “evidence” of a large number of high-value transactions, and hope the jury buys into the argument that all the bank accounts must mean you’ve done something wrong.

“They’re not charging you tax evasion, but just with impeding the IRS by having all those bank accounts. It is not illegal to have bank accounts.
“Typical federal indictment. Full of over-blown and duplicative charges – and trumped up to put you at risk of a long-term sentence if you go to trial.
“PS. If they apply this same “logic” to NXIVM’s operations, the charges will be a hundred times greater. “
Here is an article about the superseding indictment in the Niagara Gazette [my competitors {I own the Niagara Falls Reporter] but pretty straight guys]:

Here is a partial list of media crediting me with helping bust the Bronfman-Raniere crime organization. Keep in mind that the government originally alleged that the Bronfman’s were victims. What changes their minds.


About the author


News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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