One battle may be over, but the war continues. Dan Ribacoff, the self-proclaimed celebrity polygraph examiner and New York State Licensed Private Investigator, who previously appeared as the “Polygraph Expert” on the Steve Wilkos Show, his daughter Lisa Ribacoff, his son Lance Ribacoff, and their firm International Investigative Group (IIGPI), have settled two multimillion dollar lawsuits alleging client billing fraud, negligence, and numerous sexual assaults perpetrated by private investigators who worked for them, according to recently filed court documents. The lawsuit will continue against three remaining defendants, the P.I.’s who committed the alleged sexual assaults against a New York resident they trailed for the Ribacoffs.
For the last four years, Dan Ribacoff, his firm IIGPI, operations manager Lance Ribacoff, polygraph examiner Lisa Ribacoff, and private investigators hired by them have been defendants in lawsuits filed by former clients and the female subject of a private investigation the Ribacoffs supervised in 2018.
According to the complaints filed in 2019 in New York State Supreme Court, the former female subject of a private investigation supervised by IIGPI, alleges that two of their P.I.’s, Yanti Michael Greene a/k/a Michael Moretti a/k/a Michael Cruz, a former NYPD detective now living in New Orleans, and Richard M. Custodio of Levittown, NY, raped her while working for the Ribacoffs.
Court documents indicate that disturbing video evidence of the victim’s rape, recorded by Greene a/k/a Moretti a/k/a Cruz with his iPhone, was discovered shortly after the Court ordered the P.I. to surrender his iPhone for forensic analysis or face incarceration. The lawsuits also allege that three other private investigators, including Fred Caravousanos of West Babylon, NY, a former NYPD defective, sexually assaulted the same surveillance subject at several venues while working for Ribacoff’s company.
The court determined that Greene a/k/a Moretti a/k/a Cruz violated several court orders involving the surrender of his iPhone and his intentional destruction, editing, and withholding of video evidence of the victim’s rape. According to trial transcripts, Greene a/k/a Moretti a/k/a Cruz withheld, destroyed, and edited out incriminating portions of the original video footage he recorded during the Plaintiff’s rape. After a two-day hearing, where he was represented by council, the court found Greene a/k/a Moretti a/k/a Cruz guilty of both criminal and civil contempt and ordered him to pay the Plaintiffs over $350,000.00 in fines and penalties for his criminal conduct.
Following his conviction, Yanti Greene fled to New Orleans, legally changed his name without informing the court to “Michael Moretti Ford Cruz” and, according to a recently filed emergency motion, is intentionally evading the Plaintiff’s judgment by hiding and commingling income he receives from Cheetah X Inc. (Go-X), an app-based scooter rental company, in fraudulent business bank accounts he set up at Gulf Coast Bank, a regional bank located in New Orleans.
Trinka Proratta, a former LAPD detective and well-known expert in the field of drug-facilitated sexual assault, reviewed the footage recorded by Greene a/k/a Moretti a/k/a Cruz the night of the incident, and concluded in a written report, that the female subject (now Plaintiff) of the private investigation supervised by the Ribacoffs, had been sexually assaulted and drugged by Greene a/k/a Moretti a/k/a Cruz with GHB, a substance commonly associated with date rape.
The forensic analysis of Greene a/k/a Moretti a/k/a Cruz’s iPhone produced thousands of incriminating text messages, photos, and videos which allegedly prove the Ribacoff’s were, not only aware of inappropriate contact taking place between their investigators and the subject of the investigation, but even encouraged it in some instances.
In addition, hundreds of billing records recovered from the same iPhone, as well as sworn testimony provided to the Plaintiffs by former IIGPI investigators, indicate the Ribacoff’s were involved in an elaborate scheme to financially defraud the client they billed for the 2018 private investigation involving the inappropriate contact with the subject, as alleged in the lawsuits.
Incredibly, the iPhone also contained evidence, in the form of text messages and images, which indicates that the Ribacoff’s used Greene a/k/a Moretti a/k/a Cruz, the same P.I. accused of raping another IIGPI surveillance subject, to trail actress Leah Remini, presumably for their client The Church of Scientology.
If that wasn’t enough, highly offensive, racist text messages, allegedly sent by Dan Ribacoff to his employees, were also uncovered as part of the lawsuit. These racist text messages were the subject of an article published by the New York Daily News, after a job applicant filed a discrimination complaint with the EEOC, which resulted in the Ribacoffs losing their polygraph contract with the New York Metropolitan Transit Police Department.
Richard M. Custodio, a New York State licensed private investigator, Fred Caravousanos, a former NYPD detective, and Yanti Greene a/k/a Moretti a/k/a Cruz, also a former NYPD detective, are the remaining defendants in the 2019 civil lawsuits. Depositions are expected to begin shortly, and we will advise of any new developments in this fascinating yet disturbing case out of New York.