Friday 24 January 2020

Scottish-born 'madam' charged with running multi-million dollar Manhattan prostitution ring

A SCOTTISH -born woman is due in a Manhattan court on charges of running a multi-million dollar prostitution ring.

Anna Gristina, who is also a mother of four, said she'd made millions of dollars during about 15 years of arranging trysts, many of them at an apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side, according to Assistant District Attorney Charles Linehan.

During hundreds of hours of surveillance, Ms Gristina was heard saying that "she has connections in law enforcement who are poised to help her out, to let her know if there is trouble on the front that she needs to be concerned about," Mr Linehan was quoted as saying in court documents.

In particular, Ms Gristina allegedly spoke around the time of a federal investigation into former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's resignation about "how she had connections in law enforcement who will let her know if there was anything imminent coming down the line,".

Mr Spitzer, a Democrat, gave up his post after he was publicly identified as a customer who had been called Client 9 in the federal case surrounding the Emperors Club VIP call-girl ring. He was never charged and his case is apparently unrelated to Ms Gristina's.

Ms Gristina, who is being held on $2million bail, has business contacts around the world. She is said to count many wealthy people as friends and clients, and was with an investment banker friend when arrested, having been to his Morgan Stanley office for a meeting to try to raise money to finance what prosecutors believe may be an online prostitution business, prosecutors said.

Morgan Stanley has not commented on the case.

Prosecutors have 50 or more hours of video and audio recordings in the case, which they investigated by cultivating informants and conducting undercover operations, Mr Linehan said during an arraignment last month.

Minors were involved in some of the encounters Ms Gristina arranged, the prosecutor said.

Ms Gristina, a British citizen with legal US residency, is a mother of four and lives in suburban Monroe, north of New York City, her lawyer said at her arraignment.

Prosecutors "did a large investigation of her, but in terms of what actually exists, in fact, and what is still ongoing investigations, a matter of speculation," there was no cause to hold her without bail, defence lawyer Richard Siracusa said.

If convicted, Ms Gristina, 44, could face up to seven years in prison.

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News