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What hookers and cocaine?
The man accused of running a multi-million dollar prostitution ring from a second-floor Sheepshead Bay office had no knowledge that his girls were offering more than companionship, his attorney said this week.
“Our position has always been that [defendant Mikhail Yampolsky] was operating a lawful escort service,” attorney Albert Y. Dayan explained. “If District Attorney Charles Hynes alleges that his models were engaged in sexual activity for profit, Yampolsky did not know about it.”
Yampolsky, his wife, step-son and a crew of others were rounded up and arrested last week for running “High Class NY” — an online escort service that investigators say was a front for a prostitution ring where hookers had sex and sold cocaine — which they called “champagne” — to clients for anywhere between $400 and $3,600 an hour.
Hynes claimed that Yampolsky had upwards of 25 “models” working for him at any given time. The girls would be dispatched to hotels throughout the city, where customers would often pay up to $10,000 a night for their services.
“Cash would be split 50-50 while credit cards would be split 60-40,” Hynes explained. “One customer paid $170,000, but God knows for what.”
Yampolsky and his team oversaw a crew of office managers who monitored more than five online escort services advertising “models” available for dates. Phone numbers on the websites went to a central hub — the office above a tile store at the corner of Coney Island Avenue and Avenue T, Hynes explained.
A total of 17 people — including two escorts — were nabbed for participating in the prostitution network following a two-year investigation. But no “Johns” were indicted: sources said that none of the “customers” — mostly deep pocketed Wall Street types and hedge fund operators — knew that Yampolsky was the head of the ring, something Dayan is counting on.
But the D.A. believes that his office has accumulated enough evidence to put Yampolsky, who made bail earlier this week, in prison for 25 years.
“Our case is that he did know that his models were acting like prostitutes and that he received a cut of the profits,” a source in Hynes’s office said.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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