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Topics relate to adult business, the War on Drugs, political prosecutions, censorship, and police, prosecutorial, and judicial misconduct

Smiling Faces - The Undisputed Truth

Thursday, July 21, 2011

NY Escort Service Operators Indicted

It is thanks to a criminal law blog that I am aware of the big escort service bust in NYC yesterday. Appelman Law Firm posted the article: $7 Million NYC Prostitution &Drug Ring Busted. I then searched and found articles in the Wall Street Journal, CNN etc... but I admit to rarely reading mainstream news if not for specific reasoning.

The escort service has additional websites, but the main one mentioned is High Class NY, and as you can see it is still up at this point. It is a NY State prosecution and not a federal case and there are 144 counts in the indictment. Apparently there were drugs involved somewhere, though no article anywhere discusses who specifically did what with drugs except the notation that a couple of escorts were charged with “criminal sale of a controlled substance” and “attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance”.

Criminal defense attorney Avery Appelman mentions the fact that the businesses had independent contractor agreements with the escorts and models:

“It’s interesting that this company has independent contracts with its ‘models’ that prohibit sexual contact,” says criminal defense attorney, Avery Appelman. “This may insulate them from liability. It’s also interesting that this case is being prosecuted by the state, not the feds. Perhaps the feds didn’t think the evidence was strong enough to obtain a conviction.”
The existence of a contract alone will not insulate anyone from liability in such a case. If no one with the businesses made any compromising statements during the supposed 3 years that they operated, then the contracts do help to insulate from liability. It all comes down to what the state prosecutors have on audio or video to prove their case. Just saying they knew or they had to know doesn't cut it if there's a trial, especially with the contracts available for jurors to view. In other words, as long as no defendant contradicted their own contract they should be safe on that part.

I do not have access to the indictment at this point, but according to Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes, this is the story – the article is HERE, but you must scroll to see it:

Seventeen individuals and five corporations were named in the indictment, including High Class NY’s owners Mikhail Yampolsky; his wife, Bronislava; his son, Alexander; and his step-son, Jonathan Yampolskaya. Also indicted are eleven of their managers and supervisors, as well as two of their largest investors, Efim Gorelik and Yakov Maystrovich. Charges against the defendants include Enterprise Corruption, Promoting Prostitution, Money Laundering, and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance. If convicted, they face up to 25 years in prison. In separate indictments, two escorts are charged with Prostitution, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance and Attempted Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance.
I hate to say it, but over a year ago and closer to 2 years ago, I had an argument / debate with someone connected to this operation. It wasn't really an argument as I really do not care what anyone else does with their business, but was one in relation to what the intelligent way to go is in reference to credit cards. The party read my statements against accepting credit cards and contacted me. Only an idiot uses a credit card to book an escort, and I knew that before Operation Out Call (IRS) began, and who wants to book idiots?

Beyond that, the party I interacted with in email seemed like a normal businessman and had been in business for over a year when we had the discussion. Yes, I know that there is much more money to be made if you accept credit cards, but... and I am sorry to say that I imagine they now get my point. The state will squeeze any or all of the clients involved, and they've got the friggin' client list (credit card transactions). Squeezed clients will say absolutely anything to get out of a problem - I have seen it happen in any case where credit cards are involved. Read more about Operation Out Call (IRS) by scrolling to the foot of this blog and reading the article in New York Magazine or viewing it directly from Google.

As for the drugs, it is hard to tell if this was a couple of random escorts trying to make more money or what. The DA really doesn't elaborate on that part and I will not be making a guess on the topic. My viewpoint on escorts involved with drugs is that I get the hell away from them quickly.

I will say that it might be a good idea for any of the defendants' attorneys to contact me.If you want to see who is charged with what specific counts, you can go to New York State Unified Court System's WebCrims and search by "Defendant Name". Click on the case that shows, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the links for charges, appearances, motions etc...

 

3 comments:

duchessofhackney said...

I read about the bust in the New York Post, or should I say I saw it but only gave it a glance.

Generally I don't lose any sleep or even bother with these sort of escort agencies run by groups of men from Eastern Europe.

Anonymous said...

Is anything happening with this case? looks like they keep on adjourning it. Lol... city made a big stinch about it, by announcing it loud and clear all over the media and now what is it? They can't get it going?

Vicky Gallas said...

Well, I have no info on the case because it's a state case and documents are not available to me. I can retrieve docs in any federal case, but in order to follow a state case, an attorney or defendant must send me the docs.

I wouldn't write the state off yet. NY courts are backed-up. In my Florida case it was close to 14 months from arrest to trial, but I had to defend myself for four months of it after the first two months. A skilled attorney can keep a case from trial for years as a strategy.

For example, there was an adult club owner arrested before (March of 2001) I was on same/similar charges. I was arrested in November of 2001. I breathed a sigh of relief (premature) that he would be in trial before I was and intended to watch the trial (same prosecutors and judge). Well, I went to trial in January of 2003 and he ended-up making a deal months after my trial. That was the Rachel's Men's Club case.

This NY case involves a list of drug charges for many defendants along with the prostitution related counts. The case may be invalid, at least in part, or the prosecutors may be using the data from credit card transactions in other cases.