A manager at a New York City strip club and four dancers who allegedly worked as his accomplices are accused of drugging unsuspecting wealthy men and taking them to Scores and another topless club, where they charged their credit cards for thousands of dollars.
Investigators say the women, ranging in age from 26 to 30, were recruited to stalk doctors, lawyers and bankers at restaurants, slip drugs into their drinks, including ketamine and "molly," and take them to Scores and the Roadhouse NYC Gentlemen's Club in Flushing.
The women were not dancers at those clubs but had worked in others in the area, authorities said.
In all, more than $200,000 was billed to credit cards belonging to the victims during the alleged scam carried out between September and December last year. Some of the victims were charged on multiple cards in one night.
One man, a cardiologist in New Jersey, had more than $100,000 in charges on his card.
Prosecutors said some of the victims had no knowledge of even being at the clubs, and only learned of the charges after seeing their statements or hearing from their banks.
“This crime ring targeted wealthy men in the New York City area to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars," DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt said in a statement. "Four women and one man preyed on, drugged, endangered and robbed unsuspecting victims while they were under the influence of synthetic drugs used as a date rape drug."
When the victims later tried to reverse or cancel the charges, the suspects allegedly sent threatening text messages warning them not to contest the charges, officials said. In some cases they were told explicit photos of them would be released if they tried to get out of paying.
Officials said one Wall Street worker was fired because his corporate card was charged in the scam.
Authorities say the clubs paid the women as part the scam. But the establishments aren't facing criminal charges.
The five people are being charged with grand larceny, conspiracy, assault and forgery. An attorney for Karina Pasucci, one of the defendants, said she was not involved in the scheme. Lawyers for the others were not immediately reachable.
No one answered the phone at Scores Wednesday, and a message left at Roadhouse was not immediately returned.