Do you remember Bernie Kerik? He was Rudy Giuliani’s driver, who was somehow vaulted over the course of a few years into George W. Bush nominating him as Secretary of Homeland Security in 2004, before various scandals brought him down. In turn, Kerik had his own ambitious con man, Larry Ray, preying on him.
Ray was kind of an international man of mystery — he did something involving the Kosovo War and arranged meetings between Mikhail Gorbachev and Rudy and also Robert De Niro. But mostly he was just a somewhat mobbed up big mouth who set up a therapy cult for his daughter’s friends at Sarah Lawrence.
From the NYT:
Lawrence Ray was charged with moving into his daughter’s dormitory and targeting her friends for exploitation.
By Benjamin Weiser and William K. Rashbaum
Feb. 11, 2020
Lawrence V. Ray showed up at his daughter’s elite college, in a New York City suburb, in late 2010, shortly after being released from prison, and moved into her dormitory. Soon, he started doing “therapy sessions” with her roommates, convincing them he could help with their problems.
Over time, using threats and coercion, he persuaded the young adults he first met at the school, Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, N.Y., to confess to crimes they had not committed and then extorted hundreds of thousands of dollars from them, prosecutors said.
He eventually compelled some of them to work without pay on his family property in North Carolina, and he threatened others with knives. He forced one young woman into prostitution, taking the hundreds of thousands of dollars she made from selling sex to strangers, the prosecutors said.
On Tuesday, Mr. Ray, 60, once a close associate of former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik, was charged in a federal indictment in Manhattan with conspiracy, extortion, sex trafficking, forced labor and related charges. For eight years, through 2018, the indictment said, Mr. Ray “subjected the victims to sexual and psychological manipulation and physical abuse.” …
In the New York magazine article, Mr. Kerik was quoted as saying: “Larry Ray is a psychotic con man who has victimized every friend he’s ever had. It’s been close to 20 years since I last heard from him, yet his reign of terror continues.”
Here’s the New York magazine article.
It’s cult leader 101 stuff in how he exploited the Sarah Lawrence kids. It’s worth familiarizing yourself with cult leaders’ modus operandi so if you ever meet one, you can get the hell away from him as soon as possible.