MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island couple faces money laundering and other charges after being accused of running a high-end international prostitution ring online.
Federal agents arrested 44-year-old Vincent Lombardo and his 43-year-old wife, Melissa, at a home they rented in Massapequa on Wednesday night.
Clients from the U.S. and abroad made appointments through the website aphroditecompanions.com and paid hundreds per hour or thousands per day for prostitutes, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.
The website featured half-naked women in provocative poses available for hourly booking for hundreds of dollars in cities as far away as Dubai, CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
Clients were also able to rate and review the prostitutes online, Rivera reported.
Officials said one intercepted email to an escort refers to “groups of politicians, lawyers and many other important businessmen who are looking for companions. Dinner, mingling and intimate time is included. You will get $3,000 to $8,000.”
An attorney for the Lombardos said they committed no crime.
“If you hook somebody up with an escort service and those two individuals make a deal with each other that’s illegal, does that implicate the arranger? We got to see what the evidence of that fact is,” defense attorney Bob DelCole told Gusoff.
Neighbors said they saw a lot of activity at the house but were otherwise clueless as to what was going on.
EXTRA: Read The Full Complaint (pdf)
“I would just question why there were so many computers and why there were so many cars all the time,” one neighbor said. “You pass any of these houses, God knows what’s going on inside any of them.”
“I did see a lot of people in and out, a lot of cars, but nothing that was suspicious,” neighbor Paulene Psomas said. “So I really didn’t have a clue except for all the cars here and I just thought they had a lot of company.”
“I’m a little mad at myself for not picking up on it,” neighbor Jim Psomas told Gusoff.
The Lombardos recently moved back to Long Island from Florida to be closer to their four children.
Prosecutors argue that proof of prostitution was posted by johns online, reviewing their sex acts in exchange for discounts.
The latest posting on Aphrodite Companions read:
“I must shut down for a few days. Pamela is a complete and utter mess. She will be back in a few days.”
Prosecutors said Pamela is an alias for the Lombardos.
It’ll likely be more than a few days. The Lombardos were charged with money laundering and promoting prostitution.
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