October 31, 2008
IRVINE – Irvine detectives have arrested a 26-year-old man who they believe ran an event ticket scam that likely netted more than $100,000, police officials announced today.
Authorities took Kevin Lopez into custody at his Riverside residence Wednesday after an eight-month investigation into charges of credit card fraud, Lt. Rick Handfield said. Police allege that Lopez used stolen credit card numbers to purchase concert, theme park and event tickets, duplicating them and selling them on Craigslist.com.
Detectives believe that Lopez obtained the credit card information from a cell phone kiosk called “Mobile Tron” at the Galleria at Tyler Mall in Riverside.
“We’re not exactly sure how that connects with Mr. Lopez,” Handfield said of the kiosk, noting that Lopez did not work at the business. Mobile Tron representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.
Lopez is suspected of purchasing the tickets online and printing out multiple copies of the e-mailed tickets, selling them to different victims. Lopez purchased tickets to Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Los Angeles Laker games, UFC fights among other events, Handfield said.
Since only the first electronic copy scanned at a venue is valid, the remaining victims were left with unusable tickets, Handfield said.
“We know of venues where there were fifteen to twenty people who came to the door with tickets that were already used,” Handfield said.
Irvine police were notified of the alleged scam in October 2007, Handfield said, when an Irvine resident reported giving Lopez a personal check for phony tickets.
Detectives have confirmed $60,000 in losses connected to the ticket scam, Handfield said, but fear that many victims have yet to report their losses. He urged anyone who used the Mobile Tron kiosk to check their bank statements.
October 30, 2008
The legal problems continue to mount for a former Horsham cop who admitted in court that he solicited a prostitute while on patrol last year and then lied to police to cover it up.
Thomas Crow pleaded guilty to a number of charges including patronizing a prostitute, filing false reports and tampering with evidence. The charges stem from an incident last year when the 36-year-old Crow picked up a hooker while in uniform and then tried to cover it up by telling police he was investigating an escort for his brother-in-law.
Prosecutor Todd Stephens says he lied, destroyed some notes and tried to have other witnesses lie to police:
“When you have a police officer falsely accusing people of crimes. I think that’s a serious charge and we have to aggressively prosecute that.”
Crow could get up to eleven years behind bars. But his legal problems aren’t over. He was charged last week with insurance fraud for a claim he settled several years ago.
He reported some items stolen, but prosecutors say his estranged wife recently found them in the house……….READ FULL STORY
October 29, 2008
A Mister Softee driver who dished up pot and cocaine along with the ice cream was busted in his truck outside a Queens school yesterday, police said.
For certain customers, Jermaine Jordan, 26, of St. Albans, would double-cup his cold concoctions – tucking the drugs neatly between the two containers and giving new meaning to the term coke float, authorities said.
“People would approach and place their order,” a police source said. “The bottom of their cup would contain their purchase, either cocaine or marijuana.”
Jordan was arrested as he made his usual stop in front of Intermediate School 8 in South Jamaica – just as kids were being dismissed from summer camp, police said.
Parents outside IS 8 said they were disgusted by the alleged drug-dealing – especially since the suspect is a man they had come to know from his three years of driving the ice-cream truck.
“We trusted this guy. We send kids out there every day. I feel betrayed,” said Donald Williams, 53, who regularly gave money to his granddaughter for ice cream.
“I been here for 40 years and ain’t never would’ve thought Mister Softee was dealing drugs. Not Mister Softee.”………....READ FULL STORY
October 25, 2008
YOU MAY REMEMBER A WHILE BACK I POSTED ARTICLES ABOUT TONY THE BUTCHER PARTS 1&2.HERE IS A DIFFERENT ANGLE ON THE SAME STORY……………….Eddie Munoz knows a secret about Las Vegas.
As the operator of one of the city’s oldest in-room adult entertainment services, Munoz knows Vegas is a town fuelled by the unceasing buzz of money and vice. When he was at the top of his game his phones rang 100 times a day, and he dispatched private nude “dancers” (prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas) to the hotels along the Strip fifteen to twenty times a night, raking in, he says, $240,000 a year in referral fees.
That’s not the secret.
The secret, Munoz says, lies in the hundreds of miles of modern glass fiber and aging copper wire buried beneath the town’s sun-baked streets, and in the dozens of digital switches that speed data and voice from one end of the Strip to the other. Munoz believes that for a decade a shadowy cabal of criminals, corrupt insiders and professional hackers has had an illicit stranglehold on Vegas cyberspace, and all but muscled him out of the adult entertainment industry by selectively blocking, tapping and rerouting the telephone lines crucial to the outcall biz.
“In this business, you receive your calls from five o’clock in the afternoon until five o’clock in the morning, and that’s when they hit us,” says Munoz. “It’s like you’re the Maytag man. The phone will not ring.”
These days Munoz is lucky if he gets one or two customers a night, and his once great empire of vice is a threadbare operation run from an office in his home, far from Vegas’ neon core. He’s hanging on primarily through his hard-won ownership of nearly half of the five hundred licensed news racks on the Strip, which he crams with stacks of his own paper, “The Las Vegas Informer” — twelve gritty pages of advertisements for “Red Hot Red Heads” and “Hot Hot Hot Tall Sexy Blondes.” Until recently, every phone number advertised in the paper went to Munoz’s switchboard, yet his phones still didn’t ring. The economics of the situation eventually forced him to sell advertising space to a competitor to pay the rent.
Munoz’s phone problems are legion; his log of trouble-reports stretches longer than a junkie’s rap sheet. Callers from outside Vegas, or from payphones and cell phones, get through, he says, but hotel callers get false busy signals, or reach silence, driving them into the arms of competing services. Sometimes calls are rerouted directly to a competitor, he claims. And when a would-be customer does get through, and Munoz dispatches a dancer to the tourist’s hotel room, she’s likely to find another entertainer already there. “Sometimes they beat us to the calls, like they’re listening,” says Munoz.
At least three other adult entertainment outfits, a private investigator and a bail bondsman have reported similar patterns. “I’d get half a ring, and pick up the phone, and there would be no one there,” says Hilda Brauer, the former owner of the now-defunct “Sexy Girls” outcall service. In 1998, Brauer filed suit against the local phone company, a competitor she blamed for the problem, and the publisher of the Donnelly Directory, in which Sexy Girls had seven full page ads. She later dropped the suit, closed her business, and now makes her living telling fortunes for a psychic hotline. “I lost my home, I had to sell my furniture to get money to move into an apartment,” says Brauer.
Peter Vilencia, a former bail bondsman, had phone problems as well. Vilencia purchased Bail Bonds Inc. in 1996, and, after a week of brisk business springing drunken tourists and small time crooks from the Clark County Detention Center, he suddenly suffered a sharp drop in call volume. “At 4:00 in the afternoon Friday, my phone would stop ringing,” says Vilencia, who sold the company last year. “Almost every weekend for nearly four years, you could set your watch by it.”Could the Vegas cyber jacking be a myth, woven from the detritus of failed businesses and blurry technological anecdotes? If so, it’s a myth that’s attained the status of ‘common knowledge’ on Vegas’ nocturnal fringe, and in one bizarre case, it almost made an adult entertainment operator the victim of brutal mob reprisal.
Vinnie “Aspirins” and his power drill
It happened in 1998: An FBI investigation into police corruption in Vegas turned up a six-man organized crime plot to muscle in on a handful of successful Las Vegas outcall services, which had been trouncing a mob-backed venture headed by one of the men, Christiano DeCarlo.
According to court documents, the conspirators, allegedly affiliated with the Gambino crime family, were particularly interesting in moving in on Richard Soranno, the owner of one of the town’s largest services, Vegas Girls. They believed Soranno had been diverting phone calls from competitors, including DeCarlo, with the help of a mysterious computer expert named Charles Coveney.
“Coveney has contacts in the Sprint Telephone Company and is able to have telephone calls diverted from one number to another,” the gangsters believed, according to an FBI affidavit. The men expected to “persuade” Coveney to leave Seranno “and assist DeCarlo in his out call business by diverting telephone calls to DeCarlo.” Among the persuasive tools at the gang’s disposal, an enforcer named Vinnie “Aspirins” Congiusti, flown in from Tampa, who reputedly earned his nickname by once using a cordless power tool to drill holes in someone’s head.
When the mobsters began scouring Las Vegas for Coveney, the FBI was forced to swoop in, prematurely pulling the plug on a massive undercover operation. All six men later plead guilty to conspiracy. Vinnie “Aspirins” died in jail from apparent heart failure last year.
Today, there’s no love lost between Munoz and Soranno; Munoz believes, but admits he cannot prove, that Soranno is one of the masterminds of a plot to destroy his business, while Soranno says that’s exactly the kind of talk that nearly got him whacked……………………………………..If Sprint Central Telephone has never been hacked, the company is a rarity among telecommunications carriers. But SecurityFocus has learned that the company’s Las Vegas network may not be immune to hackers after all.
“Vegas was easy”
Until he went on the lam in the early nineties, Las Vegas was a home-away-from-home for the world’s most famous hacker, Kevin Mitnick, who had family in town. And from approximately 1992 until his February 1995 arrest, Mitnick says he enjoyed substantial illicit access to the Vegas network. What’s more, he recalls once being approached with an offer to redirect calls from an adult entertainment service for a single weekend, for $3,000. “They wanted me to somehow take control of the line and forward it,” Mitnick recalls.”
“It would have taken, had I wanted to do it, all of three minutes.”
October 25, 2008
It’s not hard to find sex for sale in Westchester. At least it didn’t take me long to find people who offer it. You can try it yourself: log on to Bigdoggie.net, Theeroticreview.com, Eros.com, or
Craigslist.com. If the number of listings for women who are looking to make a buck with their bodies doesn’t overwhelm you—on Bigdoggie.com alone, there were 15 women available in the Westchester/Fairfield area and many more in New York City—the number of reviews from guys willing to indulge them will. Multiple escorts who serve Westchester and Fairfield had more than 50 reviews. And if you’re confused by what you read, it’s not surprising. Escort sites have a language all their own. “GFE,” for example, means “girlfriend experience,” which means that an escort is willing to do anything a “good” girlfriend would do. But that’s just the most commonly used initials; most of the others cannot be described here………………………………..READ FULL STORY
October 25, 2008
The lure of a $30 trick with a Lowell hooker ended up nearly costing one man more than $60,000 in cash, police said.
Jessica Garcia, 30, was released on personal recognizance yesterday after allegations that she agreed to perform oral sex on the drunken john for $30, but then tied him up and ran off with $62,000 in cash he kept in a duffel bag……………..………….READ FULL STORY
July 31, 2008
CAMDEN COUNTY, MO. — Four women are under arrest for prostitution in Camden County. But, this was no ordinary sting operation. Three of the women were pregnant.
The undercover bust went down at a Lake Ozark area hotel after the sheriff’s department received several reports that pregnant women were advertising prostitution on an internet advertising site.(HMMM-I WONDER WHAT SITE..??)(I WILL HAVE TO TAKE A WILD GUESS AND SAY………..CRAIGSLIST!!)
One of the women arrested was eight months pregnant, another six months pregnant, and another was three months pregnant. They ranged in age from 18 to 22 years old……… READ FULL STORY http://www.myfoxkc.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail?contentId=7015750&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=1.1.1
July 31, 2008
Two people have been arrested in a Craiglist prostitution bust based out of a New Jersey veterinary office.
Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest and Bedminster Chief of Police William Stephens announced on Wednesday that a two-month investigation dubbed “Operation Net-Vet Harlot” resulted in the arrest of 50-year-old Cathy Rosania and 35-year-old David Baker.
Prosecutors say Rosania was the prostitute and Baker her business manager, or pimp. The office is located in the Pluckemin section of Bedminster Township.
Authorities say the investigation began when a Bedminster detective monitoring the Internet for criminal activity found an ad on Craigslist offering erotic services in the Pluckemin/Bedminster area.The officer responded to the ad and ultimately set up an appointment to meet with Rosania at the veterinary facility, located on Route 202-206 North in Bedminster, where Rosania was employed as a veterinary assistant…..READ FULL STORY http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=6296575