Four women and a manager at a New York City strip club were arrested and charged on Wednesday with luring wealthy men to strip clubs, drugging them and then running up tens of thousands of dollars on their credit cards, according to court documents.
The scheme, presented in an indictment filed by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York, was as simple as it was effective.
It would start with a “fishing” expedition.
The women charged – Samantha Barbash, Roselyn Keo, Karina Pascucci and Marsi Rosen – would troll upscale bars and restaurants looking for men of means – doctors, lawyers, Wall Street executives, according to prosecutors.
Once a mark was found, they would then arrange a “date” at another upscale restaurant or lounge.
At this point, they would drug the men.
“Working together, the defendants used drugs or a mixture of drugs to intoxicate the victims, including ketamine (a tranquilizer), methylone (commonly sold as “molly”), and cocaine,” according to a statement released by the prosecutor’s office.
“In many cases, drugs were secretly administered to the victim without their consent,” according to the statement.
The victim would then be taken to one of two strip clubs: RoadHouse NYC Gentlemen’s Club in Flushing, Queens, and the Scores bar at 536 West 28th Street.
Once inside the clubs, the women would swipe the victim’s credit cards and either forge a signature or convince the impaired man that the charge was less than it really was.
The group is accused of stealing more than $200,000 from four men between September and December. They have been charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, grand larceny, forgery and assault.
While prosecutors said the strip clubs paid the women for bringing the men to the clubs, they are not named in the indictment.
The four women charged, whose ages ranged from 26 to 30, all work as strippers, but not at the clubs named in the indictment. The man charged, Carmine Vitolo, is a manager at the RoadHouse Club.
Tales of men racking up tens of thousands of dollars at strip clubs, and then claiming not to have any memory of the event, are staples of the New York tabloids.
One recent high-profile case involved a New Jersey cardiologist — sued by Scores in the spring for failing to pay a tab totaling more than $100,000 — who is listed in the current indictment at “Victim 3.”
The doctor, Zyad Younan, claimed to have no memory of ever going to the club.
According to the indictment, “a member of the conspiracy” texted Dr. Younan on Nov. 12, 2013.
Four days later, Dr. Younan met with one of the women at an undisclosed location in Manhattan. Later that evening, “a member of the conspiracy transported” him to Scores.
And he would be lured back to the club on three more occasions, where he was robbed of more than $100,000, according to the indictment.
“At the end of the night, some victims woke up in their beds and had no knowledge of having gone to a club the night before,” according to the prosecutor’s office.
“Today’s indictment exposes a pattern of fraud that contributed to erroneous media reports,” said Michael Weinstein of Cole Schotz, the firm representing Dr. Younan. “We were always confident that law enforcement’s efforts would expose that my client was preyed upon by this ring and not responsible for charges to his credit card.”