Authorities arrested four strippers and a club manager for allegedly scamming to drug wealthy victims and charge their credit cards at two city gentleman's clubs to the tune of $200,000, officials said.
The alleged ringleaders, Samantha Barbash and Roselyn Keo, are charged with overseeing the financial part of the scheme, according to the city's Special Narcotics Prosecutor's office. The 14-count indictment includes conspiracy charges, second degree grand larceny and second degree assault.
The group, including Karina Pascucci and Marsi Rosen, would allegedly drug the victims with a mixture of ketamine, Molly and cocaine.
Court records show the women, from September 2013 to December 2013, would allegedly take the men in their own cars to Manhattan club Scores New York on the west side or to RoadHouse NYC Gentlemen's Club in Flushing.
The men were then taken to a private room inside the club where the adult entertainers would allegedly take their credit cards and identification. The girls and RoadHouse Manager Carmine Vitolo would then allegedly force the victim to sign for the credit card transaction, which ranged from $5,000 to $50,000. Barbash allegedly forged some of their signatures, according to court records.
Authorities said one victim had more than $100,000 in fraudulent charges over the course of three nights. When the men tried to call the credit card companies and reverse the charges, authorities said the defendants allegedly sent threatening text messages.
The female defendants, who were arrested Monday, allegedly met their victims in upscale bars ore restaurants under the pretense of a date or trolled bars for targets, authorities said. The four victims in this case included professionals in medicine, finance and law, according to the Special Narcotics Prosecutor's office.
Pascucci was held on $5,000 cash bail on Wednesday. In court her lawyer said she was picked up at her job in Soho on Monday and her parents were in court.
He said it was her first arrest.
Vitolo was released without bail, said his lawyer, Brian Pakett.
"He's looking forward to his day in court," he said. "He's shocked at the charges. He denies the charges."
Pakett wouldn't comment on if Vitolo knew the girls involved. He said Vitolo lived in Rockland county.
Barbash was held on $10,000 cash bail on Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court, said a spokeswoman from the city's Special Narcotics Prosecutor's office. Keo and Rosen were each held on $5,000 cash bail. Barbash, 40, lives in Queens and has a 20-year-old son, said her attorney, Stephen Murphy.
"She denies, vehemently, that she ever used drugs, ever administered drugs to anybody or ever stole any money from anyone," he said. "She loudly protests her innocence."
Attorney information could not be determined for Keo or Rosen.
Authorities said one or more of the defendants was involved in a similar scheme as early as 2011.