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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lawyer-Pimp had "source in the NYPD payroll"

Cops say lawyers ran midtown brothel

The New York Daily News by BARBARA ROSS, KRISTEN V. BROWN AND ALISON GENDAR - July 19, 2008

Teams of vice cops swooped down and busted a posh midtown strip club that catered to stockbrokers and bankers - and featured porn stars who charged $5,000 for private trysts. Prominent tax lawyer Louis Posner; his wife, Betty; and 19 others were arrested on a variety of prostitution and money-laundering charges at The Hot Lap Dance Club, which the couple ran out of a velvet-heavy loft, police said. Cops said Posner raked in $1 million over the last 10 months from the operation, which billed itself as "the Number 1 Gentlemen's Club in the World." Four of the club's dancers including busty, streaked-blond porn star Alexia Moore - were busted for prostitution. Another 15 strip club employees - including a rejected NYPD applicant and a private security officer - were arrested in Thursday's raid, sources said. No customers were cuffed. The fifth-floor fantasy lounge on W. 38th St. offered its well-heeled members topless and all-nude lap dances from a bevy of beauties.

To get in, patrons had to be recommended by another member, or pass muster with the club's Internet screeners, cops said. There was a $50 cover charge plus a $20 membership fee. Patrons then had to get past club security, "two monsters at the door downstairs," said a source familiar with the sizzling jiggle joint. Besides half a dozen private bedrooms, the plush 7,000-foot loft had small cubicles patrons could rent for $300 for 15 minutes of fun - up from just $160 when the prostitution probe began a year ago, cops said. For $500 to $5,000 more, the high-rollers could retire to private bedrooms for more personalized attention, or arrange for sex "off-premises." Patrons who ran low on cash could hit the loft's ATM for up to $900 per visit.

A 13-page criminal complaint said undercover cops posing as men interested in throwing a bachelor party were told they could have a private room - with a bed - for $250 an hour, plus whatever they spent on the women. "The house dealer of cocaine" came by the club every night and one manager boasted to undercover cops, "Lou has a source in the NYPD payroll so he can know who's a cop," the complaint said. Dancers called Posner "Daddy" and one employee told an undercover cop the women had to have sex with Posner if they wanted a job, court records said. Cops said Posner laundered the sex profits through Voter March, a nonprofit voter registration organization he founded. "He's a lawyer who specializes in tax matters so he knew how to go below the radar," said Sgt. Christopher Koch of the NYPD's VICE club unit. Investigators seized $570,000 from the Posners' 13 bank accounts and two safe deposit boxes. A law enforcement source said all the money can be traced back to the club and is subject to forfeiture. Tenants who shared digs in the building said they dimed out the sex club to cops two years ago. "Everybody knew it was a sex club," said Bruce Gilarei, 45. "One of the tenants here went to check it out with his girlfriend."

Posner, once known as the king of nuisance lawsuits, brought a landmark $16 million suit against his then-4-year-old son's nursery school in 1992 for letting the child run out of his classroom. That son, Daniel, now nearly 20, told reporters he didn't know anything about the strip club. A neighbor in the Posners' posh E. 48th St. apartment building, where monthly rents run $6,000 to $10,000, called the couple quiet - but odd. "They are just the most low-key people," said a next-door neighbor who didn't want to give his name. "A little strange, but very low-key. They keep to themselves." A lawyer who shared an office suit with Posner was dumbfounded. "It's the last thing I would think anyone who works so hard to be a lawyer would do." But a stunning stripper in her mid-20s who wasn't among those arrested Friday described Posner as "a sleazy, disgusting and disloyal boss" who often hit on the girls. She said two weeks ago Posner announced that customer complaints were prompting him to weed out bad dancers with "auditions" for managers he said would be used to critique the women on "the art of lap dancing." Moore, whose real name is Cassandra Malandri, was released on her own recognizance after her arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Cout Friday night. The Posners were expected to be arraigned Saturday. The club last made news in March when it was sued by a securities trader who claimed he was seriously injured when a lap-dancing stripper swiveled and slammed him in the face with her shoe. With Kamelia Angelova and Kristen Brown

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On July 7, 2011, Posner won the appeal in the Appellate Division which unanimously held that the New York City Police Department wrongfully refused to comply with State Supreme Court orders directing the release of substantial monies from the seized funds to pay defendants' attorneys' fees, private investigator fees, accountant's fees, and living expenses.

The Appellate Division further held that the record belies NYPD's argument that it was not afforded a full and fair opportunity to be heard before the State Supreme Court directed the release of the subject funds. The Appellate Division further held that, under the circumstances presented, the State Supreme Court properly exercised its equitable powers to order the release of the funds to pay attorneys' and experts' fees.


The NYPD clearly violated Posner's constitutional rights.