Entries in Millionaire Madam (5)


'Millionaire Madam' Released on Lower Bail After Four Months in New York Jail

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A U.K.-born woman accused of orchestrating a prostitution business for high-powered clientele in Manhattan was released from jail Tuesday night after spending four months behind bars unable to make the $2 million bail.

Anna Gristina, 44, who earned the nickname the "Millionaire Madam" has gathered enough collateral to meet a reduced bail of $250,000. As part of the bail package, Gristina will be required to wear an electronic ankle bracelet.

"Thank you, everybody," Gristina told reporters on her exit from New York's Criminal Court just after 9 p.m.

The D.A. did not object to the bail package for the New York mom, who has been in jail since her Feb. 22 arrest. Gristina's bail was originally set at $2 million, an amount she said she could not afford.

Prosecutors had argued the accused madam would present a flight risk if released while she awaits trial on a charge of promoting prostitution in the third degree.

Gristina, who allegedly operated under the name Anna Scotland for 15 years, has long been adamant she was merely setting up a matchmaking service.

The service allegedly netted Gristina millions of dollars as attractive young women and wealthy men came and went from an unassuming brownstone on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

Her list of clients allegedly included politicians, bankers, executives, top law enforcement officials, and other powerful individuals.

"I'm surprised there was a brothel next door," Tony Kim, who owns Danny Boy's Cleaners, told ABC News of the allegations. "I've never seen anything like people walking in and out during the day."

The accused madam was allegedly caught on wiretaps and surveillance videos as part of a five-year investigation by the District Attorney's Public Corruption Unit, which probes the conduct of law enforcement and other officials and whether they have been protecting Gristina's alleged activities.

Prosecutors alleged at her arraignment that the tapes capture her bragging about how law enforcement sources promised to warn her if she were under suspicion, particularly during the time New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer was revealed to be a client of an escort service that was shut down in 2009.

She was heard on wiretaps talking about a friend who is a prominent lawyer and the precautions he helped her take in the event of her arrest, according to prosecutors.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


‘Millionaire Madam’s’ Son Asks Dad, ‘What’s Prostitution?’

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The 9-year-old son of accused “millionaire madam” Anna Gristina has asked, “What’s prostitution?” his father said in an exclusive  interview with ABC News’ New York City affiliate WABC on the hardships of raising the boy, who wants to know about his mother’s legal troubles.

Kelvin Gorr’s wife is still behind bars after she was arrested four months ago for allegedly running a $15 million sex empire in a small rent-stabilized apartment in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, with prostitutes charging A-list clients up to $2,500 a night. She has denied the charges.

Gristina allegedly ran the business while raising four children, including 9-year-old Nicholas, in the family’s home in Monroe, N.Y. Gristina’s three older children are from previous marriages.

“He’s asked certain questions, like, ‘What’s a madam?’ ‘What’s prostitution?’” Gorr told WABC’s Sarah Wallace of the couple’s son. “I have to make something up. I don’t want to lie to him, but I’m not going to tell what it is.”

Gristina was allegedly caught on wiretaps and surveillance videos as part of a five-year investigation by the District Attorney’s Public Corruption Unit, which probed the conduct of law enforcement and other officials and whether they had been protecting Gristina’s alleged activities.

Prosecutors say they have Gristina on tape talking about her high-priced brothel, bragging to clients she had friends in law enforcement, so she would never get caught.

Authorities arrested Gristina Feb. 22 while she was meeting with a Morgan Stanley banker to discuss ways to expand her alleged business online, according to DNAinfo, a local Manhattan news site.

Gorr, however, says his wife is not a prostitute.

“A broker for dating, how’s that?,” Gorr said when asked to describe his wife.  “I’m saying she wasn’t a madam.  I’m saying she was not involved in prostitution.”

Gorr says that his wife’s alleged clients were rich and well-known names and he wants her to reveal those names so that she can return home to their son.

Gristina’s bail was set at $2 million because of her alleged connection to law enforcement officials.  Gorr, a real estate agent, told WABC that is money the family does not have.

“She’s just supposed to sit in [jail] while they hang out on their yachts, or their place in the Hamptons,” Gore said of his wife’s alleged clients.  “They [law enforcement officials] laid out a list of names and they said, ‘Tell me what you know about these people and we will let you go and she didn’t do that.’”

“They [police] are absolutely squeezing her for names,” he said.

Gorr admitted that he has written to some of his wife’s clients asking for help, but they refused. Gristina was in court Thursday trying to get the bail lowered, but the judge has yet to make a decision.

“I don’t know how much more he can take,” Gorr said of son Nicholas. “Seeing him stress out the way he is, it makes it worse on me.  It’s pretty bad.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


John Edwards Denies Link to ‘Millionaire Madam’

Steve Exum/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- John Edwards on Thursday denied a report by Manhattan news site DNAinfo that he was a client of New York “Millionaire Madam” Anna Gristina’s brothel.

Edwards, a former North Carolina senator who ran for the Democratic presidential nod in 2008, is the first big name to be associated with the brothel, which was broken up by vice cops in March.

Edwards’ lawyer, Allison Van Laningham, called the report by the website “false and defamatory.”

“Mr. Edwards categorically denies that he was involved with any prostitute or service.  These allegations are false, defamatory, and he puts those who would publish or repeat them on notice that they acting with actual malice by reporting or repeating them.  He has demanded a complete retraction from the only source being quoted,” Van Laningham said in a statement to ABC News.

The former politician allegedly had a one-night tryst with a hooker in an Upper East Side hotel suite, DNAinfo reported.

It’s not the first time Edwards issued a denial over allegations regarding his personal life.

When the National Enquirer broke the story that he fathered a child with mistress Rielle Hunter, the former senator called the claim “made-up.”

“The story is false. It’s completely untrue, ridiculous,” he said in 2007.

Edwards is facing a federal trial, accused of conspiring to violate campaign-finance laws by using about $1 million from campaign donors to cover up his affair and child with Hunter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Alleged Accomplice of 'Millionaire Madam' Pleads Not Guilty, Free on Bail

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The alleged accomplice of accused "Millionaire Madam" Anna Gristina surrendered to police Tuesday, pleaded not guilty in court and was released on a pre-arranged $100,000 bail.

Jaynie Mae Baker, 30, was vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, when friends informed her that reporters were camped out at her Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment, her lawyer Robert Gottlieb said. Baker contacted her attorney and volunteered to turn herself in, Gottlieb said.

She flew back to New York on Saturday night. When she arrived at Newark Airport, she was detained by customs, but an official from the Manhattan District Attorney's office arranged for her release, according to Gottleib.

Baker turned herself in Tuesday morning as planned and appeared in a Manhattan court at an arraignment hearing that afternoon on one charge of promoting prostitution in the third degree. Her bail was set at $100,000, an amount which she had already secured, backed by a friend's property.

She will appear in court again on March 27.

Baker was indicted last week along with Gristina. Gristina is accused of using a Manhattan townhouse for prostitution and was heard bragging on wiretaps that her clients included wealthy people as well as powerful members of law enforcement, according to court documents.

Baker is suspected of using her connections among Manhattan's wealthy and well-placed society to help Gristina build her client list.

If convicted, Baker faces up to seven years in prison.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


"Millionaire Madam’s" Alleged Partner to Turn Herself In

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The alleged accomplice of the "Millionaire Madam" Anna Gristina is reportedly expected to turn herself in soon, while a former call girl said Gristina is not the suburban hockey mom she has portrayed herself to be.

Jaynie Mae Baker might "surrender to the Manhattan district attorney's office as early as Monday or Tuesday," a source told the New York Daily News.

Baker was indicted last week along with Gristina for allegedly helping to build a base of clients that included politicians, bankers, executives, top law enforcement officials and other powerful individuals, according to the New York Post.

If convicted, Baker faces up to seven years on felony charges of promoting prostitution.

As for Gristina, she was expected back in court Monday where a judge will look at her finances to determine whether she should receive a court-paid defense.

Meanwhile, a lawyer for Irma Nici has come forward to say that she worked as a call girl and that Gristina referred her clients. Nici, who is originally from Bosnia, had a business relationship with Gristina for four to six years, lawyer Paul Jensen said. While Nici described Gristina as polite, supportive and pleasant, Nici's attorney said, there's more to Gristina than she is letting on.

"What I have been told is that Anna Gristina was providing prostitution services and would book Irma and other girls and that this took place over a period of years," Jensen told ABC’s Good Morning America.

Some of the clients included men who could afford to pay $2,000 an hour and "consisted of well-to-do and, in some cases, quite well-known individuals," Jensen said.

Authorities arrested Gristina on Feb. 22 while she was meeting with a Morgan Stanley banker to discuss ways to expand her alleged business online.

Gristina was allegedly caught on wiretaps and surveillance videos as part of a five-year investigation by the District Attorney's Public Corruption Unit.

Gristina has four children and lives in Monroe, N.Y., with husband Kelvin Gorr.  

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio