Monday, January 7, 2008

Victimless Crime?

Is this a victimless crime? many argue it is, others say if nothing else the women involved are victims, utilizing their bodies to obtain money for drugs.

In Holland the industry is government regulated and presumably taxed. In my calculations that would net the State and City coffers $12, 375 per month in taxes at a 8.25% tax rate, totaling $148, 500 per year based on the $150,000 per month in intake cited in the article.

This country is not ready to take this drastic step and change in morals to allow this business to operate, even though it is allowed in Nevada.

Suspected prostitution operation brought in millions of dollars

Ken Rodriguez: Express-News

Hookers are talking. Johns are confessing. Details from an alleged prostitution ring — perhaps the largest in city history — are emerging in interviews with police.
Law enforcement sources tell me:

A San Antonio-based escort service called Executive Playmates generated up to $150,000 a month in business over the past two years.
More than 300 call girls worked for Executive Playmates, and charged up to $200 for one-hour "sessions."

Index cards seized from an October raid yielded the names, phone numbers and credit card information of 2,000 customers — most from San Antonio, a few hundred from Austin.
Clients included doctors and business professionals.

"We've got men who spent over $15,000 on escorts in a six-month period," one law enforcement source says.

Adds another, "It was a multimillion-dollar business."

Police have been quietly building a case against Executive Playmates since the raid.
Publicly, authorities have said nothing since an SAPD vice unit seized computers, ledgers, receipts and index cards from two North Side residences in late October.
Privately, though, law enforcement sources say hookers and johns have confirmed that Executive Playmates was a sex operation.

"It was a family-run business," one informant says. "After johns had sex, they'd get on a Web site and rate the girls to other johns. The johns referred to themselves as hobbyists."
One person familiar with the investigation e-mailed me four Web reviews. Critiques included the first names of escorts, fees charged, and descriptions of bodies, attitudes and sexual acts performed.

No arrests have been made. No one will identify the escort service operators.

Some information won't be leaked, I'm told, because detectives are still collecting statements and gathering evidence.

Sources say police expect to complete their investigation within a month. Findings will be sent to the U.S. attorney's office.

Last year's raid stirred memories of another prostitution case. Police in 1980 confiscated a trick list from the home of Theresa Brown, who ran a North Side brothel.

Brown's clientele included law enforcement officials and politicians. A now-defunct West Side newspaper published 19 names, but the complete list was destroyed in 1985 under a court order.

San Antonio Express-News archives indicate Brown had 3,000 customers — 1,000 more than Executive Playmates. But I'm told Executive Playmates ran a larger, more organized operation — one that extended north to Austin, and, briefly, south to the Rio Grande Valley.

I asked if the names of public officials or politicians turned up on Executive Playmates cards.
"We're still looking," one informant said.

Many cards contain incomplete information, such as a first name and a phone number.

Detectives, however, can determine last names by calling phone numbers or by tracing credit card information. The process, though, is time-consuming. And johns aren't the targets.
Soliciting a hooker is a misdemeanor. But those who run a prostitution ring can be prosecuted in state or federal court.

The Internal Revenue Service is working with SAPD to determine if Executive Playmates evaded taxes or laundered money.

The escort service attracted customers mostly from ads in the Yellow Pages. But one source says up to one quarter of business came from Internet advertising — and that represents the next big trend.

Johns with money no longer rely on streets to find sex. More and more are turning to escorts in cyberspace.