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Prosecutors have busted NYC Madam Anna Gristina, a 44-year-old mother of 4 accused of running a high-end prostitution ring for the last 15 years. Her indictment and arrest come after an intense 5-year investigation.
Gristina is currently being held on a $2 million bond, with the judge agreeing that she may be a flight risk. Of Scottish origin, she is in possession of a British passport and has collected powerful business contacts worldwide. She also owns property in Canada.
Investigators collected nearly 100 hours of audio and video, reports the New York Daily News. Footage includes employees in action and evidence that she was prostituting underage girls. There is also some question about whether any official corruption has occurred.
Multiple times, Anna Gristina can be heard claiming that she has law enforcement connections and that they were tipping her off, explains the Associated Press. Prosecutors have not indicated whether the statements are true.
More likely to be true are allegations that the NYC Madam managed to hide large chunks of her earnings. A close lawyer friend is accused of helping her invest and launder millions of dollars, according to prosecutors. That lawyer may soon find himself charged with a number of crimes.
Despite media representations to the contrary, lawyers cannot help clients engage in illegal behavior. They cannot give clients any advice they know will be used to further an illegal scheme. If they do, they can be popped for conspiracy or the crime itself. And in most cases, they risk disbarment.
Prosecutors have yet to name the lawyer friend, but his identity will probably be released at some point in the future. If prosecutors successfully take down NYC Madam Anna Gristina, her closest friends are likely to go down with her.