It's not every day that an "Ugg-wearing" soccer mom with four kids gets busted for operating a prostitution ring out of an apartment on East 78th Street. Thus, New York Post editors and their ilk are making the most of it, with an array of porny stock photos and puns -- "Hot mama is kink link to rich," for example, and "Fat Cats in Hooker Probe" -- in the various tabloids. Alas, this story did not make the cover of Post today. But the details make it something that we'll surely be hearing about again, with "hooker shoes" to illustrate.
According to court documents, not only did the brothel rake in "millions" from "wealthy, powerful johns," Anna Gristina, the 44-year-old "petite, blond, green-eyed" madame at its helm, had said her friends in law enforcement would help her out against any "trouble on the front," especially back in the hooker-unfriendly Eliot Spitzer days. Gristina, who goes by Anna Scotland (she is apparently Scottish-born), seems to have been amassing something of a who's who of who goes to high-priced hookers: "Her 'black book' included powerful politicians, top-law enforcement, influential lawyers, bankers, entertainment execs, and Fortune 500 businessmen, as well as several ultra-wealthy European clients, sources said," the Post writes. Spitzer redux, perhaps? The investigation that led to her arrest took five years, and involved a confidential informant who acted as one of the madame's hookers, revealing some damning information, along with the allegedly complicit NYPD behavior:
At least once, the married mom, who lives with her family in upstate Monroe, arranged a sexual encounter for a client in which “minors were involved,” [Manhattan Assistant DA Charles] Linehan said.
Gristina was finally tracked to her upstate home in Monroe, where cops didn't find her, but, picturesquely, "a wild boar chased a police officer around, the sources said." Later, Gristina was located with a Morgan Stanley banker who she said was going to help her expand the business via the Internet. In a detail that will the thrill the screenwriters of the inevitable ripped-from-the-headlines TV movie, the madame's ex-husband, Dario Gristina, happens to be runing for state Assembly from Putnam County. He told the Daily News "he was shocked by the news."
As always, the clues for whether a high-priced prostitution ring is functioning out of an apartment near you remain about the same. Lots of people coming in and out, "sometimes many in one day," said one source. Also, "young fashionable women, always under 30," who don't live there and aren't attending a book club.
Image via Shutterstock by Sergey Mironov.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.