What to Know
- Ludwig Paz, the retired NYPD detective who pleaded guilty to running brothels and gambling rings, was sentenced to up to 12 years in prison
- Paz “used his knowledge of inner workings” of the NYPD to operate a string of brothels in Queens, Brooklyn and Hempstead
- Paz will spend 4 to 12 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty in May to attempted enterprise corruption and promoting prostitution
Ludwig Paz, the retired NYPD detective who pleaded guilty to attempted enterprise corruption for running brothels, was sentenced to up to 12 years in prison Tuesday.
Paz “used his knowledge of inner workings” of the NYPD to operate a string of brothels in Queens, Brooklyn and Hempstead, according to Acting District Attorney John Ryan, and ran illegal gambling rings in beauty salons and other locations throughout the city.
The 51-year-old pleaded guilty in May to two counts of attempted enterprise corruption and one count of promoting prostitution. The judge sentenced Paz to four to 12 years in prison on Tuesday.
The lucrative prostitution ring alone brought in more than $2 million in just over a year’s time, after using online advertising to attract more customers. After the screening process, clients paid up to $40 for 15 minutes of sex with a prostitute of their choice, or up to $160 for a full hour, according to the full indictment.
Paz set up protocols to help weed out undercovers as well. Knowing that police officers could not expose their genitals when interacting with prostitutes, new clients were required to undress and allow themselves to be fondled before getting past security, according to the release.
The whole ring allegedly involved seven active duty NYPD officers and nearly three dozen civilians. One of the cops involved, Rene Samaniego, pleaded guilty in May to charges stemming from his involvement.
Paz's wife Arelis "Maria" Peralta also pleaded guilty back in May, and is currently serving her one-year prison sentence.
Prosecutors say a tip from an officer about gambling and prostitution issues within the department to the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau in 2015 launched the investigation. Investigators used wiretaps and surveillance, among other techniques, to piece together who was involved in the complicated enterprise and their roles, according to the Queens DA.