Case tossed against ex-Nxivm adviser

Judge finds "insufficient proof" to prosecute grand larceny charge

Albany Times-Union/October 21, 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 spokeswoman for the district attorney confirmed Saturday.

Citing "insufficient proof" state Supreme Court Justice Thomas Breslin in Albany threw out a grand larceny indictment against Joseph O'Hara of Loudonville, according to Heather Orth, spokeswoman for District Attorney David Soares.

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

O'Hara, a former Albany Firebirds executive and the one-time owner of the semipro Capital Region Pontiacs basketball team, had been charged by a grand jury in Albany County 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. The company says its self-auditing courses and personal coaches help professionals reach their full potential.

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

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

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

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