A Russian Jew and his wife ran a high-end prostitution ring that catered to Wall Street customers who would spend up to $10,000 a night for sex and drugs, according to prosecutors in Brooklyn.
Mikhail Yampolsky and his wife, Bronislava, were among 17 people indicted last week after an investigation into their business, High Class NY. Also charged were Yampolsky's son, Alexander, stepson Jonathan, two investors, Efim Gorelik and Yakov Maystrovich, and 11 employees.
"High-end prostitution is enormously profitable," said Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes in announcing the charges. He said clients paid up to $3,600 an hour for prostitutes and alleged the business also provided drugs to clients. The ring made more than $7 million over three years, Mr Hynes said.
Mr Hynes said customers would order cocaine with their prostitute using a code such as, "I'd like a bottle of champagne", and then pay a steep mark-up for the drugs. He said the company catered to Wall Street executives, "people with nothing but money". But High Class NY was run out of an unglamorous upstairs office in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. It also advertised on Craigslist and operated a number of websites, including cupiddirect.com and angelofyourchoice.com.
The women working for High Class NY came from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, Mr Hynes said.
Mikhail Yampolsky was jailed, and bail was set at $150,000. His wife was released on a $10,000 bond on July 22.
The couple's lawyer, Albert Y Dayan of Queens, said the Yampolskys ran a legitimate business. "Mr Yampolsky had believed that he had operated a lawful escort service. If some of the models had any sexual arrangements with the patrons, that was beyond the scope of Mr Yampolsky's knowledge," Mr Dayan said.
But Mr Hynes promised to seek maximum penalties against the defendants, saying: "There is no such thing as a high-class pimp." Those charged face a maximum of 25 years in prison.