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PI stalking Leah Remini for Scientology was unlicensed, it turns out

Last June we brought a big scoop to the Daily Beast: We’d got our hands on some remarkable text messages between private investigators stalking Leah Remini and Jennifer Lopez on behalf of the Church of Scientology.

The texts had come from the iPhone of a retired NYPD detective turned private eye by the name of Yanti Mike Greene. We explained that the way we got our hands on Greene’s private texts was that he was being sued by a Long Island couple named David Smith and Susanne Gold-Smith who had won the right to the information on Greene’s phone in the lawsuit.

It’s a complex case, but at one time David Smith had hired a PI firm owned by TV polygraph expert Daniel Ribacoff, International Investigative Group (IIG), to follow his wife Susanne (they were split up at the time).

Greene was one of the private eyes working for Ribacoff, and for a time he was paid to follow Susanne. But the lawsuits (there are multiple) claim that Greene, as well as three other PIs working for Ribacoff, not only followed Susanne, but befriended her and, while they were on the clock, made improper advances.


Among the allegations in the litigation is that while surveilling Susanne, Greene brought her into his car in a Nassau County parking lot at about 2 am on May 17, 2018, and sexually assaulted her.

Greene not only denies that he raped Susanne, he claims that she raped him and he has maintained that claim in testimony in live hearings.

As part of the case, the Smiths were able to get copies of Greene’s texts, and they included messages that he sent while working on other cases, including his work following Leah Remini and Jennifer Lopez in 2017. (Dan Ribacoff denied that IIG had been hired by Scientology, but then we got some pretty convincing evidence to the contrary. An email proved that about the same time, IIG had Greene surveilling your proprietor and his wife.)

Also coming out of the litigation were another set of texts, purportedly from Ribacoff, which show him sending racist memes and images through his phone. At the time, his firm IIG was contracted with the MTA to provide background interviews on prospective employees, including minority candidates. After the Daily News published the racist images, the MTA cut off its contract with IIG.

A few days after our Daily Beast story came out, we went to a hearing in the litigation held in Nassau Supreme Court, before Judge Sharon M.J. Gianelli.

In that June 30 hearing, evidence was produced regarding about 12 minutes of video that Greene took with his iPhone while the alleged 2018 sexual assault took place.

An expert, Joseph Caruso, testified in the hearing that although 12 minutes of video exists, Greene turned over to the court only about 2 minutes of it, claiming that he had been the victim in the rape, and not that he had victimized Susanne.

Caruso testified that Greene had tried to fool the court by trying to hide the majority of the 12 minutes he recorded.

In the hearing, Caruso revealed that he had managed to download the entire 12 minutes of original footage from Apple’s iCloud, and during the minutes of footage that Greene did not turn over to the court Greene was heard to say the following…

— ‘See it’
— ‘You ready? Here it comes. Fuck, here it comes”
— ‘I just want light so I can see it’

Caruso further testified: “In my professional opinion, Greene had access to over 12 minutes of video and audio footage and chose to provide only 15 percent of that content, violating this Court’s directives, in fact attempting to mislead the Court and plaintiffs into believing that the other two [videos] did not exist.”

In the courtroom that day, we can tell you that this was pretty shocking testimony. A former NYPD detective, who said he was a rape victim, had kept from the court the majority of the footage containing statements that are consistent with him being the perpetrator, not victim, of a sexual assault.


But although the hearing lasted all day, there was still more testimony to come, and the stakes were high. Judge Gianelli was being asked to hold Greene in contempt for misleading the court, and it could mean criminal as well as civil penalties. Judge Gianelli continued the rest of the hearing to October 13. Then it was delayed to December, and then to January 13.

The delays have taken so long, in the meantime a new district attorney was elected in Nassau County, Anne Donnelly. We took the opportunity to ask her office if they were going to take a new look at the case.

This is the response we got back from the DA’s office after submitting a detailed description of the evidence presented about Greene and his iPhone videos in that June 30 hearing.

“Ms. Gold-Smith asked this office to investigate her allegations of rape against Private Investigator Yanti Greene. These requests were made by Ms. Gold-Smith in conjunction with three separate attorneys. An investigation was conducted, including interviews of Ms. Gold-Smith and others, and it was determined there was not sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges relating to the sexual encounter. This office is not involved in the related civil proceedings, which are being adjudicated in Supreme Court, and has not investigated any other aspect of these allegations.”

No mention was made of whether the DA’s office had bothered to get copies of the videos that Caruso managed to download.

Now, this week, there’s another interesting new development.

The January 13 hearing has been put off, and no new date has yet been scheduled for it, and attorneys have been told the delay is so Greene can recover from Covid. And there’s another tidbit we just learned about: It turns out that when Greene was stalking Leah Remini and Jennifer Lopez, and when he was following Susanne Gold-Smith and is alleged to have sexually assaulted her, he wasn’t actually a licensed private investigator.

A document we’ve obtained through the litigation shows that the New York Department of State has “admonished” Dan Ribacoff’s firm IIG for using Greene, an unlicensed PI, for its work.

We left a message for Greene to ask about the admonition and wish him a speedy recovery. We’ll let you know if he gets back to us.

In the meantime, Nassau County, and the State of New York, seem to be in no rush to do anything about Ribacoff, Greene, and the sleazy world of Scientology dirty tricks operators.


Leah Remini podcast: Listener questions, part 10

Says Mike: “We start 2022 with one of our favorites, a Listener Question episode. As always, we cover a wide scope of topics, from Fair Game campaign tactics to preserving Hubbard’s ‘legacy’ on stainless steel plates in titanium capsules in nuclear-bomb-proof vaults, and the embarrassing ‘We Stand Tall’ song.” Listen to the episode right here!



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Did you know you can get an email every morning when we post our daily Scientology story? We know some of the folks who come to the Underground Bunker aren’t here to talk about the politics of the day, and that’s why we created a daily politics feature over at our other blog, The Lowdown, and we ask readers to take their political discussions over there. And if you drop us a line at tonyo94 AT gmail, we’ll put you on the list so you get a morning reminder that a new Scientology story has been posted — and only for our Scientology stories.


Source Code

“You look at the basic mechanism of life, and we see this fellow kicks off as Ebenezer Snouzer and gets born as young Billy Jones. And nobody is more convinced when he becomes young Billy Jones that he has never been Ebenezer Snouzer. Does this have any liability to him? It certainly does. Because the inescapable truth of the matter, contained in earlier postulates, is that he was and is Ebenezer Snouzer. And so Ebenezer Snouzer, to some slight degree, goes on living. And we have past lives cropping
up, and fellows going around pleading with us to believe that they can’t shoot, can’t ride, girls just begging to be believed that they have no charm, you know? That’s to keep Ebenezer or Betty Schnouzer from living on, don’t you see?” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 4, 1957


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Above case gain is COMPETENCE. If you want to see a 9 foot tall OT, look at one who is also competent! And knows it. Like our Qual Auditors. They create new people! After case gain comes progressing improvement by new Competence attained. There have never been Thetans who were Clear OT and COMPETENT. Something new has been added.” — The Commodore, January 4, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“An implanter would be a controller and controllers work outside of this planet. We here have been fooled our whole lives about everything. But this understanding comes from outside of Scientology. One would recognize every mystery when one understands the Matrix rulers, how they operate, and what supreme being they answer to. One must understand that what we see in current time is a playout of a war between an evil and an all good God. The war is almost over and we are reaching the point that LRH referred to as The Markabian Landing and Christians call Christ’s Second Coming. The truth and deception about this Matrix had to remain hidden otherwise they couldn’t control you. It’s ok. Big changes are coming soon.”


Past is Prologue

1996: The proceedings of the New Years event at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles were posted this week. Keith Spurgeon wrote: “Miscavige begins to speak, he immediately launches into an attack against lies, liars, and the tech of how to get to the bottom of lies; he says that the culprits for the ‘lies’ are the ‘whole track psychs.’ Miscavige does not get into any more detail about it; this is the most interesting speech I’ve ever seen Miscavige give in an event. I’ve never seen Miscavige look paranoid or scared, although most watching probably didn’t have the same impression that I did. The statistical growth of Scientology is presented throughout the event by Church bigwigs such as Marc Yager, Ray Mithoff, Ronnie Miscavige, Guillaume Leserve, etc. Even Heber Jentzsch makes a speech, which is enlightening only to the extent that it reveals Heber’s mental condition. Too many laps around the pole, I guess.”


Random Howdy

“The only thing I want from Disqus is to bring back the downvote, make the AV image bigger and make the YouTube video image much smaller.”



Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next hearing set for February 8. Trial scheduled for August 29, 2022.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), false imprisonment, aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Next hearing scheduled for January 18.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Pretrial conference January 22 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for February 11.
Joseph ‘Ben’ Barton, Medicare fraud: Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing.

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Eleventh Circuit affirmed ruling granting Scientology’s motion for arbitration. Garcias considering next move.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ US Supreme Court denied Valerie’s petition Oct 4.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: California Supreme Court granted review on May 26 and asked the Second Appellate Division to direct Judge Steven Kleifield to show cause why he granted Scientology’s motion for arbitration. Oral arguments held November 2, awaiting a ruling.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Third amended complaint filed, trial set for June 28, 2022.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Case appealed on Dec 23. Appeal hearing held Aug 23-27. Awaiting a ruling.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Lawsuit filed by the FTC and state of Georgia in August, now in discovery phase.



We first broke the news of the LAPD’s investigation of Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson on rape allegations in 2017, and we’ve been covering the story every step of the way since then. At this page we’ve collected our most important links, including our four days in Los Angeles covering the preliminary hearing and its ruling, which has Danny facing trial and the potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison.


After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.


An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and now on Netflix.


Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Other links: SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks. Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society. Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in a weekly series. How many have you read?


[ONE year ago] Scientology celebrates its pandemic response in latest Impact magazine
[TWO years ago] Scientology, disconnection, and the worst Christmas ever
[THREE years ago] Tiponi Grey’s daughter: She knew her life might end at any time
[FOUR years ago] Even in 2018, Scientology is still selling L. Ron Hubbard like he had the universe figured out
[FIVE years ago] Aaron Smith-Levin appears on ‘Leah Remini,’ hours later gets own Scientology attack site
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s appeal on rehab zoning fight in Maryland to be heard today
[SEVEN years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology now selling the idea it solved the Ferguson crisis
[NINE years ago] Blogging Dianetics, Part 1: Vance Woodward Helps Us Parse L. Ron Hubbard’s Masterpiece
[TEN years ago] Scientology in Crisis: Debbie Cook’s Transformation from Enforcer to Whistleblower


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 2,535 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,040 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,560 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,580 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,471 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,778 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,646 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,420 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,751 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,224 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,540 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,106 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,025 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,193 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,774 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,035 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,071 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,786 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,311 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 666 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,841 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,392 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,541 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,861 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,716 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,835 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,191 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,494 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,600 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,998 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,874 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,457 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,952 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,206 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,315 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 4, 2022 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2020 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2020), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, 15 years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


Tony Ortega at The Daily Beast


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