Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes described Wednesday’s prostitution bust in which 17 people and five corporations were indicted as a major take-down.
The alleged pimps operated escort service websites that raked in more than $7 million in the last three years.
When a reporter asked Hynes to describe the significance of the arrests, the veteran prosecutor said confidently, "This is pretty big."
In all, prosecutors accuse 17 alleged "cyber pimps" of using five different websites to advertise high-priced escorts. The website URLs include addresses like highclassny.com, angelofyourchoice.com and descreteclub.com.
Despite the fact that nearly all of the suspects in the prostitution ring have been arrested and charged, NBC New York found the websites they used to facilitate the business are still operational.
A phone number clearly printed on the angelofyourchoice.com homepage led NBC New York to a receptionist who offered to book an escort named "Jane" for $600 an hour.
"She is on 43rd Street and Broadway, that’s the Carter Hotel, I think," said the unidentified voice.
When NBC New York took a hidden camera to the hotel, a blond woman who called herself Jane answered the hotel room door. After a few pleasantries, she outlined her price schedule.
"Six hundred for one hour," said the self-described model.
She insisted any cash she might receive would be for her companionship only, but detectives say angelofyourchoice.com is really a front for pure prostitution.
When asked why the escort websites are still operational despite the arrests of the site managers, a spokesperson for the Brooklyn District Attorney told NBC New York the investigation is ongoing.
Mikhail Yampolsky, the alleged leader of the prostitution ring , faces 25 years in prison if convicted on charges including enterprise corruption and money laundering.
Sixteen other defendants face the same charges.