Escort Service Operators Rarely Face Prosecutions


Hundreds of South Florida women and their handlers use the Web to sell sex but are rarely prosecuted, says the Miami Herald. ”We don’t actively investigate escort services,” said a Broward Sheriff’s spokeswoman. “We wouldn’t know unless there was a tip generated. Then we would check.” The Internet has made hiring a prostitute almost as easy as buying a book from Amazon. The last major South Florida prostitution takedown was in 2002, when the FBI dismantled a nationwide ring of high-class brothels called The Circuit, which was similar to New York’s Emperors Club VIP, the escort company at the center of a federal wiretap investigation that nabbed Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Both The Circuit and Emperors Club employed high-priced prostitutes catering to well-heeled clients.

A former federal prosecutor said escort-agency busts are ”relatively rare” in federal law enforcement because the post-9/11 focus is preventing terrorism. ”I’m sure it fits in some FBI priority list somewhere, but I can assure you it’s not near the top,” he said. Dennis Hof, owner of the Bunny Ranch, a legal brothel in Nevada, agreed on what it takes for escorts to pique the interest of law enforcement. ”When the FBI gets interested in an escort agency, it is because of money laundering, not prostitution,” Hof said.


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