Added: Loria Niles - Date: 31.01.2022 06:16 - Views: 29227 - Clicks: 6403
When Roselyn "Rosie" Keo and Karina Pascucci decided that the traditional and legal ways of making money in the strip club scene were not enough, they, along with others, conspired to trick, manipulate and drug unsuspecting wealthy men before taking their money to fund their own lavish lifestyles in the wake of the financial crisis.
Keo has been a lifelong hustler.
I was just in the wrong business. She started her entrepreneurship in grade school, where she would sell candy for a profit, said David Haskell, editor-in-chief of New York Magazine, which covered the scam involving Keo in Customers from Lace, a nearby gentlemen's club, would frequent the diner, Keo said, during a series of revealing interviews.
To make that kind of money in one night, she said "it felt great to have that power. It's a rush.
You get a high. Keo was taking classes at the time, too. Though the cash was rolling in, Keo, like others in the industry, was forced to pay hefty fees to the club's management just to be given a slot on the schedule. Additionally, dancers tipped other employees like bartenders to get sent the right clients. I show up to work every day, miserable, drinking to be here, putting up with nonsense… What did you do? You came in a suit,'" Keo said of having to give up her earnings.
After the financial crisisbanks collapsed and trillions of dollars in wealth were gone. Keo's wealthy Wall Street clientele were no longer spending like they once did. With money tight, companies began clamping down on costly expenses, like nights out at clubs. Faced with the choice of making less money or having to perform sex acts to keep her income where she needed it to be, Keo said she teamed up with Samantha Barbash, an ambitious single mom from the Bronx. She was a veteran and she was somebody you wanted to have on your side.
Barbash and the others would go "fishing," the term Keo said is used for luring clients into the strip clubs to get them to spend as much money as possible. The women who participated would walk away with a cut. Barbash also recruited Karina Pascucci, who worked at the city's strip clubs but as a waitress and a massage girl. She's Hustler gentelmans club, they're having a good time. She suggests, 'Hey, let's go to a strip club, that would be fun. Keo and Pascucci said they would go to happy hours at lounges, bars and steakhouses all over the city to pick up men.
Once their marks were convinced to go to a strip club, the women would take them to one, such as Scores. While there, the clients would pay Hustler gentelmans club the cover charge, food and drinks, and perhaps a lap dance and a trip to a private Champagne Room. The women would then get a percentage of the club's earnings.
It was all legal. But it was time consuming and it wasn't bringing in the kind of money the women were looking to make. Plus, after spending thousands of dollars in one evening, many of the male clients expected more than just conversations and lap dances. So, Keo said she and Barbash were soon crossing over the line, going from legal to illegal, by hiring prostitutes to perform sex acts on their male clients.
I saw the connection, I saw the opportunity…and, little by little, you find yourself doing things that sound crazy. Deep on the wrong side of the law, some of the women would fish for men who they assumed were wealthy, drug them and then run up thousands — sometimes even hundreds of thousands — of dollars in bills on their credit cards. After testing the drugs, law enforcement realized the cocktail had the effect of making men nearly unconscious while outwardly appearing to be awake. In this condition, Keo and her crew would take the men to strip clubs where they would walk past the omnipresent security cameras into back rooms, where their credit cards could be run repeatedly.
So, Keo says, the women would simply pose as the assistants of their victims and use their verbal skills. It got declined,'" Keo remembered. With the amount of money they were making, Keo and her Hustler gentelmans club felt invincible — they didn't think anyone would want to call the cops or complain that they were swindled at a strip club. They assumed that most men would be more worried about their wives, girlfriends or bosses, and so they'd simply decide to pay the bill and chalk it up to a bad night.
They also figured that no credit card company would believe any customers disputing the charges because the security cameras had caught the men arriving at the clubs.
The wealthy cardiologist from New Jersey had the money to spend but he says he had never been to that club, let alone was he able to explain his being recorded on its surveillance cameras on three nights in November What he remembered was that he had gone out with Pascucci for three dates, where women she described as her sisters, cousins or friends also showed up, but says he had no recollection of what happened later on those nights. Younan, who has never been married and has no children, blew the whistle on the scam, first by disputing the charges with American Express, which upon investigation agreed with him were fraudulent, and later fighting every effort by the women and Scores to force him to pay — even if it wasn't the full amount.
The lawsuit brought screaming headlines in the New York City newspapers.
Younan learned that law enforcement was far from doubting him. In fact, they had been on to the hustlers for months. They had a cooperator and Hustler gentelmans club run that sting operation in an attempt to catch Keo, Pascucci and their cronies.
Younan quickly became the key witness for the detectives and agents on the task force, hoping that the women whom he blamed for allegedly drugging him and racking up Hustler gentelmans club charges on his card were about to go down. Barbash, Keo, Pascucci and Rosen were charged with conspiracy, grand larceny and other charges. Eventually, they all accepted plea deals. I had to take care of… I decided not to go to trial.
I decided to just make it all stop," Keo said. The outcome could have been worse. Barbash, like Keo, cooperated with law enforcement and did not serve jail time. Barbash pleaded guilty to conspiracy, assault and grand larceny in exchange for five years' probation. Keo pleaded guilty to grand larceny and assault. Carmine Vitolo, the RoadHouse NYC manager, pleaded guilty to petit larceny and was sentenced to three years' probation.
The new movie " Hustlers ," inspired by the true story of Keo, Barbash and Pascucci, hits theaters Friday. The star-studded flick stars Cardi B. That's the point. That's why the movie is very universal… Because at the end of the day, it's all metaphoric for what everybody's doin' in their life. The truth is, in this story … these women were running a criminal enterprise, period. With her story playing on the big screen in "Hustlers," Keo is now working on a memoir to tell her story in her own words.
It was a great experience for me to just get everything out. Barbash, who also says she's working on a book, declined ABC News' request for an interview and declined to comment except to say she wanted to tell Keo, "Make the money, don't let the money make you. Maybe people can learn from it, maybe people will grow, maybe they'll take some kind of lesson or something positive from it.
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