Celebrity Polygraph Operator Dan Ribacoff Sent Racist Text Messages

Daniel D. Ribacoff at the set of the Steve Wilkos Show

AntiPolygraph.org has obtained copies of text messages sent by polygraph operator Daniel D. Ribacoff of New York that, while intended to be humorous, evince a deep-seated contempt of, and disdain for, black people.

Ribacoff, a member of the American Polygraph Association, performs polygraph examinations for the NBCUniversal tabloid television talk program, The Steve Wilkos Show, many of whose guests are African American.

Ribacoff sent the texts to an employee of his private investigative firm, International Investigative Group, in 2017 and 2018. Both Ribacoff and the employee are middle-aged Jewish white males.

As previously reported on AntiPolygraph.org, Ribacoff’s company, International Investigative Group, which stands accused of defrauding a client out of millions of dollars, holds a contract with the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Department (MTAPD) to conduct pre-employment polygraph screening of applicants.

A complaint currently pending before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges racial discrimination in connection with a polygraph examination conducted by Ribacoff’s company on Jonathan Kyle Carter, a black New York Police Department (NYPD) officer who in 2020 sought to transfer to the MTAPD.

The racist texts Ribacoff sent include:

An image with the caption, “When your GPS says ‘turn right on to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd'” depicting locking car doors, raising windows, and loading a revolver. (Sent on 16 June 2017 at 1:29:56 PM EDT.)

An image of a black man carrying a white man with the caption, “When you can’t carry a gun because of a felony… but you found a loophole.” (Sent on 24 June 2017 at 9:59:48 AM EDT.)

An image of the Disney version of the Winnie-the-Pooh character Tigger on top of the head of a black boy with the caption, “You’ve heard of Elf on the Shelf, now get ready for.” (Sent on 15 September 2017 at 12:18:24 PM EDT.)

An image of a black man in a cardboard box with the caption, “When you’ve got $9.34 left in your bank account and you have to start practicing being homeless.” (Sent on 7 February 2018 at 8:26:27 PM EST.)

An image of a “Black Monopoly” board where apart from “Jail,” every square reads “Go to Jail.” (Sent on 18 February 2018 at 12:46:51 PM EST.)

An image of a blonde white woman pointing a pistol with the caption, “THE UNITED STATES IS THIRD IN MURDERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. BUT IF YOU DISCOUNT CHICAGO, DETROIT, WASHINGTON, AND NEW ORLEANS, THE UNITED STATES DROPS TO FOURTH FROM THE BOTTOM ON THE SAME LIST. COINCIDENTALLY, THESE FOUR CITIES ALSO HAVE THE TOUGHEST GUN LAWS IN THE UNITED STATES.” The fact-checking website Snopes rates these claims as “mostly false.” (Sent on 20 February 2018 at 1:04:23 PM EST.)

Immediately following this, Ribacoff texted, “What do those 4 cities have in common? A high concentration of Rachet Schvartzas!” “Schvartza” is a Yiddish pejorative term for black people. (Sent on 20 February 2018 at 1:04:24 PM EST.)

Another image Ribacoff sent suggests an anti-Mexican bias. It depicts former U.S. president Donald Trump placing his hand in a crevice at the Western Wall in Jerusalem with the caption, “No, this is no good. You could fit a Mexican child through here.” (Sent on 7 February 2018 at 1:14:02 PM EST.)

Ribacoff also expressed a pro-Jewish bias, writing to his Jewish employee, “👌🏻jews stick together.” (Sent on 31 March 2018 at 2:42:43 PM EDT.)

The attitudes displayed in these messages call into question Ribacoff’s suitability to be responsible for the polygraph screening of MTAPD applicants or indeed, of anyone. (Not that anyone should be subjected to polygraph screening. As we explain in our free book, The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, polygraphy is a pseudoscientific fraud that is inherently biased against the truthful, yet easy for liars to beat.)

In response to a request for comment e-mailed to Daniel Ribacoff, his attorney, Michael D. Cassell of Hogan & Cassell LLP, replied:

This Firm represents Mr. Ribacoff. I am in receipt of your October 2, 2021 email to him regarding text messages that Mr. Ribacoff supposedly sent. Mr. Ribacoff has absolutely no recollection of sending the text messages referenced in your email. In addition, it is my understanding that the messages were obtained by you from individuals with whom Mr. Ribacoff is presently engaged in litigation. Significantly, Mr. Ribacoff vehemently disputes the veracity of any and all claims by these individuals, seriously undermining the authenticity and legitimacy of the referenced emails.

Email from Michael D. Cassell dated 3 October 2021

AntiPolygraph.org is confident of the authenticity of each of the text messages reproduced in this article and notes that Daniel Ribacoff did not deny having sent them.

The Steve Wilkos Show did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

As previously reported on AntiPolygraph.org, in 2019, Steve Wilkos Show guest Anca Pennington attempted suicide after Dan Ribacoff falsely accused her of lying when she denied having burned her infant daughter with cigarettes. When confronted on Facebook with documentation that the child had not in fact been burned but had a ringworm infection, Ribacoff at first defended his polygraph results, but later deleted his remarks.

In 2018, Steve Wilkos Show guest Jesse Wayne Perkins passed a polygraph “test,” presumably administered by Dan Ribacoff, in which he denied having killed a 15-month-old child. But Perkins later confessed to the killing and is currently serving a life sentence. The Steve Wilkos Show responded by removing video of this episode from its YouTube channel.

Steve Wilkos himself has publicly stated that he would never take a lie detector test.

New York Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Department Has Polygraph Contract With Daniel Ribacoff’s Fraud-Tainted Firm

In a 22 April 2021 YouTube interview with retired NYPD detective Ron Licciardi, polygraph operator Daniel Ribacoff, who is best known for his appearances on the lowbrow daytime television talk program, the Steve Wilkos Show, disclosed that he has the contract for administering pre-employment polygraph examinations to New York Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Department applicants, stating:

We happen to have the contract for the MTA police, the Metropolitan Transit Authority Police, so we do the polygraphs for pre-employment, where we search for what we call undetected crimes.

Daniel Ribacoff (right) speaking with retired NYPD detective Ron Licciardi on 22 April 2021

As previously reported by AntiPolygraph.org, Ribacoff’s company, International Investigative Group, is the defendant in current civil litigation credibly alleging billing fraud in the millions of dollars.

On 17 June 2021, AntiPolygraph.org submitted the following inquiry to Metropolitan Transit Authority media relations:

Is the MTA aware that the contractor who does pre-employment polygraph screening for the MTA Police Department (International Investigative Group) is the defendant in a civil lawsuit credibly alleging billing fraud in the millions of dollars? AntiPolygraph.org reported yesterday on the latest developments in this litigation:

https://antipolygraph.org/blog/2021/06/15/ny-lawsuit-details-alleged-fraud-by-tv-polygraph-operator-daniel-ribacoffs-international-investigative-group-surveillance-of-actress-leah-remini-for-church-of-scientology/

We’re planning to report on the MTA having selected the fraud-tainted International Investigative Group (IIG) to screen police applicants and would like to know 1) when the MTA awarded this company its first contract to screen applicants, 2) when the current contract period ends, 3) whether MTA intends to cancel the current contract before it ends, 4) whether MTA intends to renew its contract with IIG, and 5) how many applicants have been polygraphed by IIG?

Any additional comment MTA may have on its dealings with IIG is also welcome.

MTA media relations neither responded to nor acknowledged this inquiry, which was submitted directly via their website.

Facebook post by Lisa Ribacoff dated 14 May 2021 mentioning polygraph screening of MTA applicants

A pre-employment polygraph examination conducted for the MTAPD in late 2020 by Daniel Ribacoff’s daughter, Lisa Ribacoff (a member of the American Polygraph Association’s board of directors), is at issue in a racial discrimination complaint currently pending before the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

NY Lawsuit Details Alleged Fraud by TV Polygraph Operator Daniel Ribacoff’s International Investigative Group, Surveillance of Actress Leah Remini for Church of Scientology

International Investigative Group proprietors Daniel D. Ribacoff, daughter Lisa J. Ribacoff, and son Lance Ribcoff

In a 29-page “Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Partial Summary Judgment” (12 MB PDF) filed on 7 June 2021 in the case of David M. Smith v. International Investigative Group Ltd., et al., attorney Steven Cohn of Carle Place, New York presented overwhelming evidence that the private investigation company run by TV polygraph operator Daniel D. “Dan” Ribacoff engaged in fraudulent billing practices.

The evidence of fraud includes numerous text messages supplied by former International Investigative Group (IIG) employee Saul Roth, a retired Nassau County, New York police officer. Roth attests to the fraudulent billing (apparently admitting to a felony crime) in a 16-page affidavit (4 MB PDF) filed in the case.

Former IIG employees James Marr and Yanti Greene also made out affidavits stating that IIG directed them to inflate their invoices.

Leah Remini

Also of note, text messages submitted in evidence (23 MB PDF) document IIG’s surveillance of actress Leah Remini on behalf of the Church of Scientology—a cult founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard that uses a simple lie detector called an E-meter to “audit” (interrogate) its members.

Remini was indoctrinated into Scientology as a child and incurred the cult’s wrath by publicly leaving Scientology and, among other things, producing a documentary series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, exposing physical and mental abuse inflicted upon members.

IIG spied on Leah Remini for the Church of Scientology while she was in New York for filming of the 2018 romantic comedy Second Act. The memorandum filed in support of the motion for summary judgment alleges that IIG directed investigator Yanti Greene, a retired New York Police Department officer, to double bill for work on the case.

Among other things, the text messages include discussion of a March 2018 article by Tony Ortega titled “Leah Remini is still being stalked, and now Scientology has turned to an ex-NYPD detective” that reveals Greene’s surveillance of Remini without mentioning him by name.

After these documents were filed in court, the Ribacoffs’ attorney filed a motion to seal all of the filings. Neither the memorandum nor the numerous exhibits are presently available for download from the New York state court system. Counsel for David M. Smith is contesting the request to seal, and the ultimate disposition of the matter is yet to be determined.

AntiPolygraph.org downloaded the three case documents mentioned and mirrored in this article before the court removed public access to them.

For prior reporting on this litigation and the related case of Susanne Gold-Smith v. Daniel Ribacoff et al., see TV Polygraph Operator Dan Ribacoff’s International Investigative Group Allegedly Bilked Client.

TV Polygraph Operator Dan Ribacoff’s International Investigative Group Allegedly Bilked Client

All in the family: International Investigative Group proprietors Daniel D. Ribacoff, daughter Lisa J. Ribacoff, and son Lance Ribacoff

Lawsuits filed in Nassau County, New York allege that TV polygraph operator Daniel D. “Dan” Ribacoff and his “family owned & operated” private investigation company, International Investigative Group, behaved negligently and bilked the plaintiffs out of millions of dollars. Kathianne Boniello reports for the New York Post:

A prominent PI firm was so eager to keep the cash coming in from rich clients, it turned a blind eye to its private eyes acting “like drunken fraternity brothers,” a new lawsuit charges.

Dan Ribacoff, a polygraph expert who bills himself as one of the top private investigators in the country and has appeared on TV shows like “Impractical Jokers” and “The Steve Wilkos Show,” displayed “willful ignorance” and took no action as the gumshoes who worked for him went rogue, according to the $10 million claim.

Ribacoff’s Long Island-based International Investigative Group exchanged thousands of text messages with underlings, encouraging them to double bill and pad hours to run up the tab for wealthy clients like Patty Hearst’s granddaughter Gillian Hearst and ice cream company heir David Smith, according to court papers.

Read the rest of the article here.

The lawsuit, Susanne Gold-Smith vs. Daniel Ribacoff et al., was filed on 18 December 2020 in the Nassau Supreme Court under index number 614735/2020. Other named defendants include Daniel Ribacoff’s son, Lance Ribacoff, his daughter, Lisa J. Ribacoff, his wife, Barbara Ribacoff, and the Ribacoffs’ company, International Investigative Group, Ltd. The 80-page statement of complaint (23 MB PDF) seeks damages of not less than $50 million and comprises nine causes of action: 1) negligent supervision, 2) negligent hiring, 3) respondeat superior, 4) respondeat superior-IIG and the Ribacoffs, 5) negligent retention, 6) negligence, 7) aiding and abetting, 8) violation of New York Business Law 84, 9) negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Daniel Ribacoff is a member of the American Polygraph Association, and his daughter Lisa Ribacoff is a member of the American Polygraph Association’s board of directors.

A prior lawsuit, David M. Smith vs. International Investigative Group et al., was filed in the Nassau Supreme Court on 31 May 2019 under index number 0607393/2019 and seeks damages of more than $18 million. The 48-page statement of complaint (2 MB PDF) in that litigation cites causes of action including breach of contract, fraud, gross negligence, and “breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.”

In December 2019, a guest on the Steve Wilkos Show, for which Dan Ribacoff provides polygraph services, attempted suicide after Ribacoff falsely accused her of lying when she denied having burned her infant daughter. In fact, no one had burned the daughter, and lesions that appeared on her leg were the result of a ringworm infection.