Remember the New York magazine cover story from July 2005 about the $2000/hour "escort"? Even though the escort, Natalia McLennan, was charged with money laundering, prostitution and money laundering and Jason Itzler, aka "The King of All Pimps," pleaded guilty to money laundering and attempting to promote prostitution from a Worth Street address, the story gets a second life. Former NJ prosecutor Paul Bergrin is being charged with promoting prostitution, money laundering, and conspiracy by the Manhattan DA's office.
Prosecutors say that Bergrin was Itzler's defense lawyer, and when Itzler had his legal troubles, Bergrin's "assumed direct control" of NY Confidential. Apparently, Bergrin, Hiram Ortiz, and another escort kept the business going and laundered $800,000 through credit cards. Oh, and also Bergrin was also having sex with the escorts, paying them with proceeds from the company, which Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau described as "That's called eating the profits."
Bergrin, who is a former Army Ranger, had some high profile miltary clients, such as one of the soldiers involved in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse. The NY Times spoke to a friend of Bergrin's, who wonders if Bergrin's work as a tough defense lawyer led to the indictment. John Edwards Tiffany, Bergrin's lawyer and friend, said, "There are prosecutors out there that may have very distinct opinions about Mr. Bergrin. They should worry less about getting their names in the paper, and focus on their job, which is to prosecute crimes, not to attempt to tarnish or belittle the reputation of an attorney.”