New York Private Investigator and polygrapher Dan Ribacoff and his firm International Investigative Group (IIG) have been sued in New York for sexual assault and other charges. Also named in the complaint are Ribacoff’s adult children Lance and Lisa who work for IIG.
The lawsuit arises from David Smith, a wealthy heir, hiring Ribacoff’s firm to investigate his wife Susanne Gold-Smith in a matrimonial case. According to Kathianne Boniello’s story for the New York Post, David Smith eventually paid Ribacoff’s firm a small fortune and is now suing to get it back:
Smith hired IIG in 2018 to surveil his then-estranged wife, Susanne Gold-Smith, as they went through a divorce battle, ultimately shelling out $9 million to the firm. The couple later reconciled. Multiple IIG investigators sexually assaulted her while she was intoxicated, Gold-Smith has alleged in court papers. The investigators have denied the allegations.
Her latest lawsuit accuses IIG of knowingly letting its private eyes run wild: going to strip clubs, using drugs on the job, “frequent[ing] prostitutes” and “essentially behaving like a bunch of drunken fraternity brothers on spring break,” according to the Nassau Supreme Court papers.
The lawsuit alleges that certain of Ribacoff’s investigators raped the plaintiff Susanne Gold-Smith while she was intoxicated and that Ribacoff turned a blind eye in order to keep up the lavish billings coming in from the plaintiff’s wealthy husband. Ribacoff denies the allegations.
The lawsuit further alleges that Ribacoff’s investigator erased texts in his iCloud account to cover up what had happened. These texts were recovered. We find the text messages between Dan and Lance Ribacoff and their investigators — which are cited in the complaints (scroll down to read) — reveal the depraved mindset of this PI firm used by the Church of Scientology. The way the PI’s see women as nothing more than sex objects is disgusting.
In one series of text messages, the defendants are worried about evidence of a rape one of the investigators is alleged to have committed on the plaintiff when he spent the night at her home:
These texts go to the specifics of the complaint and the allegations. Disturbing questions come to mind: Why did Ribacoff’s investigators cross the line into the alleged sexual assault upon the subject of an investigation? Why did Dan Ribacoff allow this? Why did Ribacoff, who is the owner and manager of the firm, refuse to shut the investigation down much earlier and walk away when he saw the dangerous pattern of conduct unfolding with his investigators? Why did he allow the investigation to get completely out of hand and veer into sexual assault as is alleged? The plaintiff alleges that the money was just too good. The $9 million Ribacoff ultimately collected from his client bolsters the plaintiff’s allegations.
The press release issued by Daniel Szalkiewicz & Associates, P.C. opens by summarizing the complaint. In doing so, the press release refers to Ribacoff’s firm overbilling clients and its covert surveillance of Leah Remini on behalf of its client the Church of Scientology (emphasis ours):
NEW YORK, Dec. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Daniel Szalkiewicz & Associates, P.C. filed a new $50 million lawsuit against International Investigative Group (IIG) of Rockville Centre, NY, a firm run by TV polygraph expert and P.I. Dan Ribacoff. The lawsuit alleges that the polygraph expert from NBC’s The Steve Wilkos Show and his family condoned, encouraged, and incentivized grossly inappropriate contact between their investigators and a female subject in order to retain a lucrative contract…
The complaint alleges that recovered text messages also revealed the Ribacoffs and IIG were engaged in fraudulent billing practices while conducting private investigative work for other high-profile clients, including the Church of Scientology in their surveillance of Leah Remini, and for Gillian Hearst, the granddaughter of Patty Hearst, in her custody case, among others.
If there is evidence that IIG overbilled the Church of Scientology as alleged, then what can Scientology do? Nothing at all. If Scientology sues Ribacoff to get its money back, then Scientology has to admit that it hired Ribacoff to conduct a campaign of covert surveillance against Leah Remini.
This lawsuit provides the public and the media with the name of yet another private investigation firm used by the Church of Scientology. We add this to our database of attorneys and PI firms used by Scientology.
The press release released by Daniel Szalkiewicz & Associates, P.C.:
The Verified Complaint in Susanne Gold-Smith v. Daniel “Dan” Ribacoff, Lance Ribacoff, Lisa Ribacoff, Barbara Ribacoff and International Investigative Group, LTD.
The Proposed First Amended Complaint in Susanne Gold-Smith v. Richard Custodio et al:
Categories: The Scientology Money Project