Sex ring employed 240 call girls - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/15/06-RIVERSIDE, California

Sex ring employed 240 call girls

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

Boaz Benmoshe, 44, and Ofer Moses Lupovitz, 43, were among seven people arrested last week and charged for investigation of pimping, pandering, perjury, loan fraud, money laundering, falsifying income tax returns and grand theft, Riverside County Sheriff Bob Doyle said Monday.

The suspects operated Elite Entertainment, a Palm Springs business that posed as an escort service in online and newspaper advertisements, according to an affidavit filed by prosecutors.

For at least three years, the business managed more than 80 phone lines, where clients across California, Nevada, Oregon and Arizona would call an 800 number and request a girl.

The suspects would dispatch the prostitutes, who charged between $200 to $2,000 for sexual services, Doyle said. They used the money to secure loans fraudulently for million-dollar homes, authorities alleged.

During a 2-1/2-year probe, undercover detectives ordered escorts who worked for Elite Entertainment 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.

The suspects include Benmoshe's wife, Melanie Ann Smith, 24, and Russian nationals Moti M. Vintrov, 33, and Eliran Vintrov, 28, plus their spouses.

Bail amounts were set from $25,000 to $1.5 million, according to court records.

Arraignment was scheduled for August 21.

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