By Erin Fuchs
New York state's attorney general said today that 19 people had been indicted for allegedly participating in a massive money laundering and prostitution ring.
Prosecutors say defendants laundered money from prostitution, sex trafficking and drug sales through the small-business ad company Somad Advertising.
Somad, in turn, allegedly advertised the ring's prostitution services on Backpage.com and the Village Voice.
One of three "johns" who was arrested separately was David Mendelowitz, an ex-guidance counselor and dean of students at the prestigious Scarsdale High School, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a press release.
Mendelowitz, who was involved in the high school's drug task force, is charged with paying for both crack cocaine and sex, according to the attorney general. He's being arraigned today, a Schneiderman spokeswoman told Business Insider.
Here's a summary of the prostitution ring charges, from Schneiderman's press release:
Each prostitution prong of the enterprise utilized the income derived from their illegal prostitution and drug related businesses to pay Somad for their advertising services, effectively laundering money through Somad, disguising the origin of the proceeds as legitimate advertisement payments. These payments to Somad were used to both pay Somad employees who ran the advertising business and to place additional ads which promoted their prostitution businesses. According to a review of Somad's financial documents, between January 1, 2010 and October 2012, prostitution businesses paid in excess of $3 million in advertising to promote their prostitution business.
And here's a list of the defendants:
- SOMAD ADVERTISING
- MILAGROS KATZ, 50, Jersey City, N.J.
- CHRISTOPHER FAIRBAIRN, 24, Forest Hills, N.Y.
- SEAN BAGDONAS, 37, Lake Ariel, Pa.
- VICTOR CONCEPCION a/k/a TORIO, 45, Caivta, Rizal, Philippines
- ARLENE MEYERS, 67, Hendersonville, N.C.
- YING LI a/k/a LILY, 48, Bayside, N.Y.
- JAY KING, 52, Whitestone, N.Y.
- WOO YANG a/k/a AHJUCI, 6o, Oakland Gardens, N.Y.
- WEI QU a/k/a WILLIAM, a/k/a ANDY, 51, Flushing, N.Y.
- JIAN HUI NIU a/k/a JAMES a/k/a BILL, 40, Flushing, N.Y.
- XIAO JING QIAO a/k/a JOY, 25, Brooklyn, N.Y.
- WOOSUB KIM, 46, Fresh Meadows, N.Y.
- SUN T. FINK, 61, Flushing, N.Y.
- NO MI KWON a/k/a SARAH, 49, Palisades Park, N.J.
- FANNIE HUBBARD a/k/a ALEX, 23, of Yonkers, N.Y.
- MELANIE REYES, 27, Jamaica, N.Y.
- SHI IN KANG a/k/a "OLDER MISS KANG", 58, Flushing, N.Y.
- RENSHUN KANG a/k/a "YOUNGER MISS KANG", 53, N.Y.
- JACOB KIM, a/k/a "SARAH'S DRIVER" 36, Flushing, N.Y.
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