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.”

….READ FULL STORY

Vitter is the first elected official to be identified as a client of the alleged prostitution ring. Earlier this year, a high-level diplomat resigned after his name was linked to the scandal in an ABC News report based on phone records that covered 2003 to 2006.

The federal judge hearing Jeanne Palfrey’s criminal case had barred the accused madam from releasing any additional records.

“The disk – containing a full set of the telephone records for the 13 year operational history of ‘Pamela Martin & Associates’ – already has been pirated,” ……………..READ FULL STORY http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/07/accused-dc-mada.html

Two Israeli nationals were arrested on suspicion of running a massive Palm Springs prostitution ring that employed more than 240 women in several Western states and generated millions of dollars, authorities said.

The men operated Elite Entertainment, which posed as an escort service in online and newspaper advertisements, according to court documents.

For at least three years, the business managed more than 80 phone lines, where clients across California, Nevada, Oregon and Arizona could call an 800 number and request an escort. The suspects would then dispatch prostitutes, who charged between $200 to $2,000 for sexual services, Riverside County Sheriff Bob Doyle said Monday.

Boaz Benmoshe, 44, and Ofer Moses Lupovitz, 43, were among seven people arrested last week for investigation of pimping, pandering, perjury, loan fraud, money laundering, falsifying income tax returns and grand theft, Doyle said. He described Benmoshe and Lupovitz as the ringleaders.

Authorities say the suspects used the money to fraudulently secure loans for million-dollar homes around the Coachella Valley.

“They were living large,” Doyle said.

During a 2½-year probe, undercover detectives called for escorts who worked for Elite Entertainment to be sent to hotel rooms in several locations and arrested them after money was exchanged for the promise of sex.

Authorities also seized about 15 computers and $5 million in unspecified assets. Officials said the investigation was continuing and that more arrests were likely……….READ FULL STORY http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-08-15-prostitution-ring_x.htm

A 13 year old from Texas who stole his Dad’s credit card and ordered two hookers from an escort agency, has today been convicted of fraud and given a three year community order.

Ralph Hardy, a 13 year old from Newark, Texas confessed to ordering an extra credit card from his father’s existing credit card company, and took his friends on a $30,000 spending spree, culminating in playing “Halo” on an Xbox with a couple of hookers in a Texas motel.

The credit card company involved said it was regular practice to send extra credit cards out as long as all security questions are answered.

The escort girls who were released without charge, told the arresting officers something was up when the kids said they would rather play Xbox than get down to business.

Police said they were alerted to the motel by a concerned delivery clerk, whom after delivering supplies of Dr Pepper, Fritos and Oreos had been asked by the kids where they could score some chicks and were willing to pay. They explained they had just made a big score at a “World of Warcraft” tournament and wanted to get some relaxation. On noting the boys age the delivery clerk informed the authorities.

When police arrived at the motel they found $3,000 in cash, numerous electronic gadgets, an Xbox video console with numerous games, and the two local escort girls………….READ FULL STORY http://www.money.co.uk/article/1000390-13-year-old-steals-dads-credit-card-to-buy-hookers.htm

A plot by organized crime to seize control of the Las Vegas outcall industry was thwarted by FBI agents, in large part because they had help from a mob insider.When gangsters with John Gotti’s crime family heard about a mysterious black box device being used to steal from escort companies, they sent a fearsome crew to town to fix the problem.An owner named Chris DeCarlo, who had already approached Nastasi about an alliance, with protection from John Gotti’s family, had a bold idea.DeCarlo contacted Mario Stefano, a high ranking New York mob figure. Stefano told him help was on the way.”They called him Vinnie the Aspirin. If they were to have a headache running on of their businesses, they bring in Vinnie the Aspirin. He makes the headache go away,” said Tony.His real name was Vinnie Conguisti. His most infamous work tool was a power drill, which he used to obtain information.The Aspirin and two other tough guys came to Las Vegas to find the black box and its creator, and then to take over the escort industry one company at a time — by torture or murder if necessary.……………READ FULL STORY http://www.lasvegasnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=7931151

David Elms, is in jail awaiting trial in Los Angeles in a case unrelated to the site, leaving the fate of his influential underground world uncertain. In dozens of conversations and in postings on the Internet in recent weeks, prostitutes have expressed concern that if The Erotic Review goes offline it could hurt business. But in the same breath, many are rejoicing about the potential downfall of Mr. Elms…Ms. Link, the deputy district attorney, said the criminal charges against Mr. Elms stemmed from a night in 2006 when the police were called to a hotel where they found him with 3.8 grams of cocaine and a loaded semi-automatic weapon. A prostitute was there and said Mr. Elms had forced her to perform oral sex at gunpoint, but there was not enough evidence to press charges on that accusation………READ FULL STORY http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/us/17erotic.html

The escort service, called Denver Players, was shut down by IRS and Denver Police investigators last month when they served more than a dozen search warrants and subpoenas at homes and businesses.Their customers include professional athletes, politicians, lawyers and judges…….READ FULL STORY http://www.9news.com/rss/article.aspx?storyid=86295

Dave Elms, CEO of TheEroticReview.com,aKa TER North America’s largest escort-listings website, was arrested in Torrance, Calif. on June 4. Elms has a prior record including prostitution, drug, and firearms charges. This most recent arrest during a court appearance was on felony drug and weapons possession, according to a representative of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office…….READ FULL STORY http://valleywag.com/5014699/theeroticreviewcoms-ceo-off-to-jail

A business called “Body and Soul,” located in the Village Square Mall on Route 9W, was actually offering prostitutes for $175 per half hour, police said…READ FULL STORY http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080613/NEWS/80613013

“According to police, the sting targeted prostitutes who offer their services on Craigslist. One of the ads included a $25 coupon, police said.”…..READ FULL STORY http://www.wnbc.com/news/14227350/detail.html