Tag Archives: Village Voice

Queens residents among those busted in prostitution, money laundering ring


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Eleven Queens residents were indicted — and two human trafficking victims in Manhattan were saved — after authorities busted a $7 million prostitution-based money laundering ring that spanned the tri-state area, the attorney general said.

A 16-month joint agency investigation led to the 180-count indictment of advertising corporation Somad Enterprises, Inc. and 19 individuals, who allegedly engaged in enterprise corruption and a variety of crimes, including money laundering, falsifying business records, narcotics sales and prostitution, the attorney general said.

“This investigation led to the arrests of multiple individuals who were part of a criminal enterprise that made millions of dollars by profiting off the exploitation of women,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. “The message we are sending is clear. These crimes will not be tolerated in the state of New York.”

Manhattan-based Somad Enterprises is accused of being a front for the large prostitution and narcotics distribution ring, according to the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force and the NYPD.

The company, which authorities say allegedly posed as a legitimate business, “profited handsomely” in excess of $3 million by working with prostitution businesses to promote sex services through online, print and cable television sources.

Three “johns,” including a former guidance counselor and dean at Scarsdale High School, have already been arrested, the attorney general said.

Five of the 11 arrested Queens individuals — who each face up to 25 years in prison if convicted — hail from Flushing, authorities said. The others are from Forest Hills, Bayside, Whitestone, Oakland Gardens, Fresh Meadows and Jamaica.

The two trafficking victims have been brought to a safe haven, said the attorney general.

Calls to Somad Enterprises went unreturned as of press time.