Conman, 59, set up a cult in his daughter’s college apartment, divided her group of friends by ‘forcing them to have sex with each other in front of him’ – Scammer and ex-con Lawrence Ray, fleeced students, convinced them that they had poisoned each other, driving them to suicide attempts
Convicted scammer, from New Jersey, allegedly set up a cult in his daughter’s college apt, ingratiated himself before dividing her group of friends with his antics
Lawrence Ray, 59, moved in to his daughter Talia’s student apt. in 2010 – She was studying at Sarah Lawrence College and living with friends, then he gradually, manipulated the students with a so-called self-improvement program, it is alleged
Some escaped but some attempted suicide, sodomized themselves at his instruction and cut off ties with their families
One family, whose three children became involved, say they gave him $200,000
Ray was previously convicted of securities fraud and was given a probation sentence
He was jailed for breaching a court order about his custody agreement afterwards
He is still living with some of the former students, Isabella Pollok and Yalitza Rosario in New Jersey and denies any wrongdoing
He was once best friends with Bernie Kerik but they had a famous falling out and he believes he is the victim of a conspiracy
Alleged scam artist: Lawrence ‘Larry’ Ray, who goes by Larry, is shown in a 2016 interview where he described being assaulted by a mafia boss. He is accused of manipulating his daughter’s friends by turning them into a cult-like group
A convicted swindler has been accused of turning his daughter’s group of college friends into a cult by moving in with them once he got out of prison. Lawrence Ray, allegedly, then proceeded to sow division among the group with disturbing control tactics which included forcing them to have sex with each other, convincing them they had poisoned him and driving some to multiple suicide attempts.
‘I am making a video statement to say that I never stopped poisoning Lawrence Ray, Talia Ray, when she was in my proximity, Isabella Pollok, Felicia Rosario,’ Claudia is coaxed into saying in by Ray, in a video
Lawrence Ray, 59, akya ‘Larry’ Ray, is a well-known New York scammer who has strong ties to disgraced former NYPD commissioner Bernie Kerik.
His past is checkered but, in addition to his jail stint for his role in a securities fraud scam, he has worked on Wall Street, owned nightclubs, been an FBI informant and inserted himself into powerful networks by brokering meetings, some among global players.
Lawrence Ray, [right], is lead into Superior Court in Somerville in Jan 1998, where he pled guilty to charges of interference with child custody and contempt for failing to surrender his daughters to the girls’ maternal aunt during a contentious divorce
Released from prison in 2010 following a six month incarceration for breaching the terms of his custody agreement with his ex-wife, he moved in to his daughter Talia’s college apartment while she was studying at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.
Over the next four years, he drove her and her friends apart by manipulating them into disturbing alleged scenarios which include multiple suicide attempts, lawsuits, sex in front of him and self-harming.
The allegations were laid out in a lengthy article by The Cut on Monday which includes testimony from some of the group.
Ray lives in New Jersey with two of the former students; Isabella Pollok and Felicia Rosario, both of whom he calls his wife.
He believes that they, along with his daughter Talia, have been poisoned by three others – Santos Rosario, Claudia Drury and Yalitzia Rosario – and that their health has suffered as a result.
It is unclear where Santos, Claudia and Yalitzia are living now.
Claudia fled New York after a recent encounter with Ray where he ‘strapped her to a chair and tied a bag over her head’.
She was bought a ticket out of the city by a former boss who became worried after she told them the story and said she needed $50,000 to give him.
Two others, Daniel Barban Levin and a woman who gave her name only as Juli Anna, escaped years ago and spoke to The Cut.
The issues began in September 2010 when Ray was released from prison after six months. He was jailed for contempt of court for disobeying a judge’s order regarding his custody agreement with his ex-wife.
He had previously been sentenced to five years of probation for his role in a securities fraud scam.
Ray moved in to the roommates’ home and at first charmed them by cooking meals and occasionally taking them out for dinner, paying for the outings with a wad of cash that he carried in a backpack.
‘He did all of our cleaning and definitely took on the dad role in the house,’ Juli Anna, said.
At first, he slept on an air mattress in Talia’s room but before long, he was sleeping in the same room as Isabella, his daughter’s 19-year-old best friend who was going through a break-up and was coaching her, claiming she ‘needed’ him.
Gradually, he began to exert control over the group, they said.
According to some of the former roommates, Ray roped them all into what he framed to be a ‘self improvement’ program.
It soon involved them taking part in group ‘sessions’ in the living room where he would counsel them and tell them they had been brought together by their shared obsession with suicide, one recalled.
One involved them having to explain their past behavior and, at times, apologize to him for things he told them they had done to him.
It was such an effective form of brainwashing, they recalled, Daniel once agreed to have Ray tie a ‘garrote’ of aluminium foil around his penis and testicles and tighten it.
He forced Daniel, who was confused about his sexuality, to have sex with Isabella, in front of him on multiple occasions and once invited a friend to watch, Daniel claimed.
He convinced Claudia Drury that she was schizophrenic, they said, and made her obsessed with the Marines.
Santos had tried to kill himself once before meeting Ray but, according to those who spoke to The Cut, his problems worsened as a result of their contact.
Even when Daniel and Claudia traveled to England to study abroad, they would Skype Ray and, according to Daniel, have sex on camera for him.
According to Juli Anna, Claudia was initially suspicious of him but ‘snapped’ after they started meeting privately and became obsessed with the Marines.
She would start posting on Facebook about the military, according to friends, and spoke down to her parents whenever she visited them.
During one summer break, the group decamped to an apartment on the Upper East Side, NY, that was It was owned by Lee Chen, a former friend of Ray’s who eventually sued him to get him out of the property.
Daniel clawed his way out of the group after a disturbing alleged incident where, he claims, he was told to put on a dress and sodomize himself with a dildo in front of the group while they laughed.
Others, however, stayed.
Over the course of their friendship, three of the women – Claudia Polk, as well as, sisters Isabella and Yalitzia Rosario [who were recruited into the group by their brother, Santos], – tried to kill themselves.
They all swallowed bottles of Tylenol pills and said afterwards that they felt badly about how they had treated him.
Santos, whose parents say they gave Larry $200,000 over the course of three years, went to a mental health facility and has also spent time in a homeless shelter.
Claudia, for a time, worked as a prostitute to try to repay Larry for ‘damage’ he said she had caused to properties.
She has a disturbing website where she details how she, Yalitza and Santos tried to poison him, Talia and Isabella.
She claims she poisoned them with mercury and had been told to do so by her parents as part of a scheme hatched by Kerik.
‘I am making a video statement to say that I never stopped poisoning Lawrence Ray, Talia Ray, when she was in my proximity, Isabella Pollok, Felicia Rosario,’ she said to the camera.
In the background, Ray can be heard asking if she is making the video of her own free will, to which she replied ‘yes’.
After their suicide attempts, neither Claudia nor Yalitzia would speak to their parents when they rushed to the hospital.
According to friends and nurses at the hospital, Ray would insist on being there for all their appointments with doctors.
In 2015, Claudia, Yalitzia and Isabella testified on Ray’s behalf during a court battle with Chen who had sued them to get them out of his apartment.
Claudia, who has told publicly about being addicted to drugs before she even met Ray, said during that hearing that he had been a part of her life since she was nine and that her parents put her up to poisoning him in exchange for money from Kerik.
Santos’ parents, who had to sell their home in the Bronx to give Ray money, say they have contacted the NYPD three times about their experiences with him but that because all of the youngsters are over 18, there is nothing they can do.
Talia now lives with her father’s stepfather in North Carolina.
She has made repeated public appeals to reunite with her teenage sister Ava who she says she is being kept apart from by her mother, Teresa.
She alleged in the past that her mother beat her and sexually abused her – claims that were found to be false in family court.
In 2004 court documents, psychologists found it ‘literally impossible’ to evaluate him because he is ‘able to control almost any situation in which he finds himself, including a psychological interview with a forensic examiner, no matter how experienced that examiner may be.’
The Cut interviewed Ray and he maintained his theory that he is being targeted as part of a wide conspiracy for exposing Kerik’s corruption as the police commissioner.
‘It’s clear they want to kill us,’ he said.
A scroll through his relationship with Kerik paints the plausibility of his claims.
Through former NYPD commissioner Kerik, Ray became friendly with FBI agents and claimed he could inform on members of the Mafia. Among the agents he got to know was Gary Uher.
Ray told Uher that he knew of a ‘pump-and-dump’ scheme that mafia bosses were using to scam the stock market.
Uher, however, soon realized that he was using his position as an FBI informant as a cover to get in on the scheme himself.
Ray was indicted in 2000 along with 19 others for his part in the scheme and was sentenced to five years probation.
He asked Kerik, who was by then the police commissioner, for help when it became clear that he would be convicted by Kerik turned him down.
Four years later, when Kerik was nominated by George W. Bush to Secretary of Homeland Security.
Kerik withdrew after admitting that he had once hired an undocumented worker as his nanny.
Days later, Ray lashed out against him in the press. He shared stories of his impropriety and corruption.
Afterwards, Kerik’s affair with Judith Regan emerged. Years later, Kerik was convicted of tax fraud.