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THE BUST

It was 2005 and New Year’s had come and gone.  I was born in 1957 and 2005 was to be my year: The Year of the Rooster.  My Korean friend and partner David was seeking advice from a monk and he told him to tell me that I must shed all of my bad luck before the New Year came in. I guess I did not do that because a storm from Hell was on its way.  I truly had no idea of how enormous and horrible it would be. 


The girls and I had a hobby that was a bit of a passion: saving abused or unwanted pets.  We had several, one girl pit, Asia, was living on 44th St. at our office.  Rosie a very sick female cat was living at another place of ours on 35th and Lexington. An English girl named Elizabeth had taken a liking to her and intended to try to get her to London.  At my house in Freeport we had 2 old pit bulls housed and a little terrier named Frankie that I had found many years ago. I had Earl Grey, a big tomcat that I found walking around Freeport  half dead from feline AIDs and was living in my laundry room for the winter. I also had many parrots most given to us by people that did not want them any longer.  One African Gray named Zulu lived on 51st Street.  He was a part of Julie’s: the girls and the clients knew him very well.  He would greet everyone at the door.  He did not curse but the girls had taught him to say to the guys as they were leaving, (“Thank you ,did you tip today?”) 


 Much of the money brought in by prostitution saved many animals. I know it sounds a little over the top but this is what it was.  We had just found a home for Nene, a little terribly abused pit bull female that was suffering from years of fighting and breeding. Through all of that she was so sweet and helpless. She developed leukemia and was on steroids.  We used several different vets and we brought her to a West Side veterinarian, a very nice woman who fell in love with Nene as soon as she saw her.  She was lucky because very soon the end was coming. 


My friend Mary who also worked for me was staying at my house for the winter.  She had broken up with her boyfriend and had no where to live at the time.  She was and is a true friend to me.  January 31st, she left for Julie’s early in the morning to make her 11am shift.  My maid Denora showed up every morning at 10am to help me get moving. She was from Honduras, a big chunky woman that went way beyond the call of duty by helping with the animals in the house as well as the cooking, cleaning and what ever was needed.  My son Jerry was living at home and was working at Julies as well.  My son decided to ride to work with me because his shift started at 5.  We dropped Earl Grey off at the Merrick veterinarian clinic on our way to work.  When we got to Manhattan we stopped at our brothel on 49th St. and picked up our housekeeper named Patrina, a voluptuous woman from Grenada.  She worked for me for many years and was a trusted friend as well as an all-around assistant who delivered money to the bank, hired girls, etc. What ever was needed, Patrina was there to do it, no questions asked.  She jumped into the Escalade and we proceeded to the garage on 51st St. and 10th Ave. where we parked our car everyday.  We walked up to the San Juan restaurant on 51st and 9th Ave and ordered our food and discussed the girls, just shop talk. 


I decided to call the office and to my surprise no one answered.  I called the brothels and no one answered, I started to feel a funny feeling in my gut.  I redialed and redialed but no one was answering cells or house phones.  I called my house, no answer from Denora, I knew it was the day the day we all dreaded.  After all we knew they were watching us. Prostitution is just what it is:  a service who cares all that much, I thought.  My son had left the restaurant before us to buy a CD to listen to.  Patrina and I walked over to 49th St. and walked up the street by our brothel 49th St. between 8th and 9th. Avenues and were in shock when we saw the FBI and NYPD hanging around outside the building (we could identify them by the letters on their jackets).  I pulled my hood over my head and just walked, hoping that they would not notice us and guess what they did not. They were so busy they did not even look at me twice.  


I walked straight to the Washington Mutual Bank and took out $10,000 in cash, then I met up with my son Jerry and tried to decide what the Hell was going on and what to do about it.  We went up to East Harlem where we found a gypsy cab and took it out to Freeport.  Once there I just wanted to go home to where I lived, where my birds, dogs were waiting for my return.  I checked into a hotel room and turned my cell off since I know it is a GPS system and the Feds could find me right away with it. 


I had a friend bring me a pre-paid throw away phone and I called my lawyer.  He told me the cops wanted me to turn myself in and there was an arrest warrant out for me.  I was really confused because they were really making a big deal out of this.  Yes, I was a madam! Yes, I was committing a crime! But damn it! So were thousands of other women and men in New York.  My business was an open secret for at least a decade and we knew lots of law enforcement as well as judges, even guys from the secret service.  Why were they doing this?


I stayed that night at the Freeport boatel where I kept my boat.  The next morning I grabbed the Daily News and was in shock when I read the headline that an under aged prostitution ring had been busted.  I called the Daily News and told them that there were no under aged girls in my house.  My brothels were busted thee times in 2004 while the investigation was going on and there not one under aged girl had beeb found in my places.  The day of the bust there were thirty girls working and not one of them were under aged.  I took great measures to make sure we did not allow under aged girls in our places.   


Yes, once in awhile as with any establishment including clubs, an under aged person does get in.  In 2003 my son’s friend brought a girl to me and asked if I could hire her claiming she was 19 years old.  I found out within weeks that she was not of age and I fired her.  My son’s girl friend had gone out to a club with her and she admitted to her that she was 16 years old and a run away.  I called her Lolita because she looked a lot like Lola, a girl that no longer worked for us.  Lolita never even made the web site, never got pics because she was fired so fast. 


Within days the new papers and the media came up with the wildest stories.  Newsday was the most bizarre – “the birds were foul mouthed and the dogs were vicious” -- where did they get this stuff from?  Anyway it spiraled out of control into a circus.  My attorney Dan Ollen seemed to be on the hot seat as well due to the accusations made towards him as well.  Everyone who knew me knew this was mostly BS but everyone was afraid to come near me because they did not want to be arrested as well.  I was alone and literally in shock when I found out the depth of trouble I faced. 


I decided to speak with the media because it was a way to get the truth out. I can only say that it was a tragedy. My dogs who were just nine years old, Raina and Rosco were driven from Freeport to Ohio, and just let go around the Kentucky area.  Frankie the terrier was put down, Earl Grey was put down by Merrick Vets because no one picked him up.  Elizabeth had Rosie the cat put down as well because she could not get him to England as fast as needed.  Many of the birds were taken by Mark Marone from Parrots of the World in Rockville Center. It was a terrible time and it got worse before it got better.      
               

 

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