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Feds: NYC strippers drugged, stole from rich men

NYC Strippers Arrested For Drugging, Stealing From Rich Men

NEW YORK (AP) - It's a tawdry tale of New York City strippers on the prowl for men with money, drinks spiked with illegal synthetic drugs and runaway credit card charges at topless clubs.

Some of the men say they have little or no memory of any of it. But investigators filled in the blanks for them on Wednesday by announcing the arrests of four women - all described as professional strippers - and a club manager on charges including grand larceny, assault and forgery.

The five were accused of teaming up to rip off a combined $200,000 from a New Jersey doctor, a banker, a hedge fund executive and a real estate attorney in a credit card scam during the last four months of 2013.

None of the victims was named in court papers. But a lawyer for Dr. Zyad Younan, a cardiologist at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, identified his client as one of them.

One of the women, Karina Pascucci, and the manager, Carmine Vitolo, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in state court in Manhattan. The other three defendants, including suspected ringleader Samantha Barbash, were arraigned on Tuesday.

Barbash's attorney, Stephen Murphy, said Wednesday that his client denies the charges. Pascucci's lawyer, Patrick Parrotta, said his client is a college student with no criminal record who worked as a waitress at Scores in Manhattan but never stripped there. A lawyer for Vitolo, Murray Richman, denied charges the club manager helped set up the men.

According to Drug Enforcement Administration and New York Police Department investigators, the scheme began with the women going on "fishing" expeditions at bars in midtown Manhattan and on Long Island to lure in victims. On follow-up dates, they secretly dosed the victim's drinks with the stimulant methylone, commonly known as "molly," or the tranquilizer ketamine.

The dazed and confused victims were driven to Scores and the RoadHouse in Queens, where their credit cards were swiped and unauthorized charges recorded, some as high as $50,000. The clubs paid the women a fee, but the establishments were not facing criminal charges, authorities said.

The men reported waking up in their cars or in hotel rooms, wondering how they got there. Those who tried to dispute the strip club bills received texts from the strippers threatening to go public with their transgressions, authorities said.

"The defendants were banking on the victims being too afraid to contact the police, but as the indictment and arrests show, they made a serious miscalculation," Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said.

Last month, Scores sued Younan, saying he owed the club $135,303 for unpaid services. According to the lawsuit, the doctor disputed the charges by saying "he was drugged by plaintiff's employees and thus did not authorize the charges" - a claim the club says is contradicted by security video showing him freely showing up there on four separate occasions.

The arrests exposed how "my client was preyed upon by this ring and not responsible for charges to his credit card," Younan's attorney, Michael Weinstein, said Wednesday.

There was no immediate response to phone messages left Wednesday at Scores and the RoadHouse.

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thomashollman19 June 12 2014 at 7:30 AM

THEY WANTED TO GET SCREWED THATS WHAT THEY GOT

Flag Reply +28 rate up
4 replies
chipvpb June 12 2014 at 12:30 AM

They should not drugged them but the men were there to pray on them in the first place and we all know it.

Flag Reply +16 rate up
17 replies
moradadavislodi June 11 2014 at 11:46 PM

Nothing good ever comes out of going to bars.

Flag Reply +15 rate up
3 replies
suz June 12 2014 at 9:06 AM

Well women have been victims of this for ages and it's always their fault. So now a few men have this happen to them and it's big news. Well I say it's your own fault you guys. Lay down with dogs you get fleas.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
7 replies
royalty5000 June 12 2014 at 10:48 AM

I love how some female commentators are saying that these men deserved it. For all those women who think this way, do every man a favor and stay single because you're nothing but garbage.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
2 replies
drgscarantino royalty5000 June 12 2014 at 4:33 PM

I agree with your sentiments, I commented above.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
amazing grace royalty5000 June 12 2014 at 4:58 PM

REALLY????

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
anandaone amazing grace June 12 2014 at 5:36 PM

Yes. Really.

Flag 0 rate up
joykindo June 12 2014 at 12:54 AM

THIS IS A GOOD TIME FOR THE WIVES TO DIVORCE THERE UNFAITHFUL STUPID ASSES AND TAKE THEM TO THE CLEANERS!!

Flag Reply +8 rate up
6 replies
mvnup June 12 2014 at 6:30 AM

Big deal

Flag Reply +6 rate up
ticktockticktock1 June 12 2014 at 1:38 AM

Eeew! Not that pretty, in my opinion.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
Dan June 12 2014 at 9:47 AM

Gee, if by the time a man is past his 20s or 30s he hasn't learned that strippers are also con artists he's lived a pretty sheltered life or else he's a darn fool. ♣

Flag Reply +4 rate up
5 replies
eaglephoenix2 June 12 2014 at 7:49 AM

If we had these women as undercover agents focusing on the Taliban and Al Queda we wouldn't have any problems.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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