Charges against ex-Nxivm adviser dropped

Albany Times-Union/October 20, 2007

Albany - Criminal charges have been dropped against a former top adviser to the Colonie-based Nxivm company who was accused of bilking a foundation affiliated with the "human potential" group for thousands of dollars, a spokesman for the District Attorney confirmed Saturday.

Joseph O'Hara of Loudonville, a former Albany Firebirds executive and the one-time owner of the semipro Capital Region Pontiacs basketball team, was indicted by a grand jury for grand larceny, but according to Heather Orth, spokeswoman for District Attorney David Soares, Albany Supreme Court Judge Thomas Breslin threw out the charge for "insufficient proof."

O'Hara had been charged with ripping off the Ethical Foundation of $232,607 between May 2004 and August 2005.

Authorities had said Nxivm, a human development company, was planning to set up a scientific research foundation when O'Hara, who had a Massachusetts-based foundation called Humanalysis, was recommended.

After the two sides worked out an agreement, Humanalysis became the Ethical Foundation, authorities said.

Nxivm contended that O'Hara concealed his activity by changing the name of an established nonprofit foundation, affiliated with their company, and diverting funds from Nxivm's contributors.

His attorney, Brian Devane, said at his arraignment in March that the foundation was owned by O'Hara.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit from Nxivm against O'Hara has been settled, according to court papers. U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Treece dismissed the litigation on Sept. 27.

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