A blog for escort business entrepreneurs

The Blueprint Blog is often updated with tips, ideas, and advice for entrepreneurs interested in opening and operating an escort service.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Aphrodite Companions Information Update

UPDATE on 13 August 2013 @6:45PM:

It appears that the case against the owners of Aphrodite Companions is closed, which of course makes no sense as there are no documents filed on this - just the notation on the docket report that the case is terminated as of 12 August 2013. The only time I see this sort of conclusion is if a case was filed in a different Circuit. Also, according to the BOP Inmate Locator, both Vincent and Melissa Lombardo are still in MDC Brooklyn with an "unknown" release date. This is some sort of game, but your guess is as good as mine as to what is really happening in the case.

Aphrodite Companions 13 August 2013 (Vincent Lombardo)

Aphrodite Companions Case Closed 13 August 2013 (Melissa Lombardo)


I have read and reread the Aphrodite Companions Complaint numerous times. I suppose that I'm trying to analyze the situation or at least why it happened to this company specifically and perhaps that is an exercise in futility. When you think about it, the how and the why is immaterial. It is what it is, right?

Any escort business that makes the choice to operate in multiple states, or globally as Aphrodite Companions did, could be the next candidate for federal indictment. I figure it's time to discuss it as the indictment may be filed tomorrow or it could also be filed next year or never. I'm not going to sit around and theorize for that long. The feds may not be in any hurry to file that indictment, so I won't be checking PACER on a daily basis, but I usually visit to research a couple of times a week anyway and will check at that time. As of the time of this posting, the indictment has not been filed.

One issue must be stated clearly first: Detective Myles Mahady is an anti-prostitution crusader and he has extensive experience in the field. Whatever he's decided to do by filing that complaint first, you could assume that he knows what he's doing. Most federal prosecutions are by indictment and I'd venture a guess that Mahady is in the midst of a major investigation.

Some Background on Detective Myles Mahady

There is some interesting information on Mahady in the book, "Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer," and I happen to have a copy. I found it (new paperback) on sale on Amazon for under $3 around Christmas. Now (this minute) it's on sale for $3.61. Definitely worth a read if you are currently doing business in Manhattan or ever intend to.

While I did not realize it until it was brought to my attention, I know more about Mahady than any book reveals, so I'll leave the information in the book where it is and the decision to read it up to you and tell you something that I already knew. Mahady was the lead detective on the NY Confidential case. In case you are not already aware, Jason Itzler owned NY Confidential and Natalia (Natalie McLennan) was his main escort for most of the duration of that business. Her book is titled, "The Price: My Rise and Fall as Natalia, New York's #1 Escort," though it has a rather high price at the moment.

I have spent much of my spare time blogging about the Paul Bergrin prosecution and trials on the Paul Bergrin Blog this year and on my Accused Madam Blog last year. However, I have no documents from Bergrin's NY state case. Paul Bergrin was Jason Itzler's attorney when Itzler owned NY Confidential (and prior to that) and eventually pleaded to a misdemeanor count in the case just to make it go away as he faced a much worse fiasco of a prosecution in Newark. Natalie McLennan testified for the government in the last Bergrin trial.

Jason Itzler was not called as a witness in Paul Bergrin's last trial and all of Natalie's testimony was really hearsay --- Jason told me this and Jason told me that etc.... So while I considered Itzler an informant in past as a result of statements he made to news reporters, he did not testify in the Bergrin trial. Really, I think he's just a clown. Why? Well, his many statements to news reporters in past. I also blogged about Natalie McLennan during Bergrin's trial:

Detective Mahady worked closely with FBI Special Agent Shawn Brokos in connection with Paul Bergrin's NY state case and held-off on filing it until the feds were ready to file the Newark indictment. Brokos is a real piece of work, but you could read more on that in:

Back to the Aphrodite Companions Case

Take a moment to check a few names in the Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator and you'll see that Paul Bergrin is in MDC Brooklyn. Other than one week immediately after his trial when he was vindictively transferred to Essex County Jail and separated from all of his legal papers, Bergrin has been in MDC Brooklyn for over 4 years. Guess who else is in MDC Brooklyn... Check the BOP Inmate Locator for Vincent Lombardo and Melissa Lombardo. Interesting indeed.

If you know the Lombardos, you can always write a letter, but I would not attempt to discuss the case with either of them:

Melissa Lee Lombardo - #80711-053
MDC Brooklyn
Metropolitan Detention Center
P.O. Box 329002
Brooklyn, NY 11232

Vincent Lombardo - #80712-053
MDC Brooklyn
Metropolitan Detention Center
P.O. Box 329002
Brooklyn, NY 11232

On a different note, I did some reading on The Erotic Review (TER) last night and consider the situation improved in reference to reviews since my last visit over a year ago. Perhaps the majority of explicit reviews published these days were written by law enforcement or a few idiots. I am not a member and can't access the "juicy details," but site participants do not seem to be as insanely explicit in the discussions as in past.

I did note that one person commented in numerous discussions that the Aphrodite Companions arrest could be attributed to doing business with clients in other countries and several others picked-up on that and used the "foreign commerce" statement from the complain; however, they all omit the "interstate" part of the statement. For the record, any federal indictments or complaints related to escort or prostitution businesses use the terms together.

Any conclusions as to what caused this investigation that resulted in prosecution are theories at this point. It may have been a wire transfer from Dubai to an Aphrodite account or it may simply be the interstate operation business model. It could also be enemies making police complaints - I state this after reading the "rip-off reports" by a vindictive escort or two and the statements of a complaining escort on the ECCIE forum. I have heard a variety of theories and they are all exactly that.

Mentioning the complaining escort on ECCIE, what in the world gave this woman the idea that Aphrodite Companions would pay for her attorney in her solicitation arrest? If this was some promise made by an Aphrodite representative (Pamela) as the woman claims, I can see why Melissa and Vincent Lombardo were arrested and are being prosecuted. But note that I seriously doubt any such promise was made to the complaining escort.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tolerating TER: A Reminder

Last night I came across an article online that reminded me of why I shouldn't wish ill will on The Erotic Review (TER). It is my opinion that TER and other sites like it have successfully set women's rights back more than a century. Women are treated like merchandise or a product on Amazon on these sites and many of the male participants would have it no other way as is clear by a read through some reviews.

The problem, at least for me, is that these women accept this delegation to last class citizenry on these websites without much objection as if it's all a part of business. It's not a part of any decent business and shouldn't be acceptable for a woman selling her time and companionship to be reviewed like a pair of shorts or any inanimate object. Companionship is personal and should be treated as such. Most people will not have the same experience anyway because we are talking about people and human behavior here.

So before I digress too far, realize that my issue is the toleration for such behavior by a major online community. Forget the fact that we are all traceable these days and the writing and acceptance of such reviews by all participants is just plain stupid.

I'm sure that there are some mild and kind reviews written by nice gentlemen on TER, ECCIE, and various other review and membership sites in the world of adult business, but they are few and far between. The sort of reviews that I am referring to are what is discussed in the Aphrodite Companions Complaint in #20 on pages 14-15, #23 on pages 23-25, and #25 on pages 25-26.

What sort of deranged client would want to call a "provider" that provides services like that? Well, I will tell you - these are the people that I refused to book when I had escort services. For more than a decade, they've found their own little holes on the internet and succeeded at changing the business for "providers" and services alike. Most of us old-school service owners consider them to be the street trash of adult business.

I have no clue what value a service could see in this sort of thing and consider it a one-way trip down indictment lane. We can all be happy that the great majority of the provider participants require advance appointments and aren't interested in lower rates for dinner bookings. There will always be a place for real escort services.

Yes, I have digressed from the entire point of this post. The article I found last night was written by John Moore: Censorship starts with porn

Mr. Moore is correct, you know, especially with this sentence: "Here’s a radical idea: Let’s subcontract Internet-governance to the Taliban."

I certainly do not want to become the censor of anything in adult business online, but some of the stuff in these reviews is so disgusting that eventually it will run all adult business underground. Agencies have no excuse though. If an escort that's been on TER expresses an interest in working with your business, and you read a review like the ones quoted in the complaint, tell her to retrieve her self-esteem or get used to working alone, but certainly do not attempt to play in that game.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Aphrodite Companions Owners Arrested

A reader brought it to my attention this morning that Melissa and Vincent Lombardo, the owners of Aphrodite Companions, were both arrested yesterday. Melissa is known to most as Pamela. In the distant past, I exchanged numerous emails with Pamela and she was very nice and respectful, though we found no common ground for discussion.

Aphrodite Companions was one more business that faced indictment because of how they operated. Really they are charged with money laundering that is based on violating the New York law of promoting prostitution by the feds. I'm sort of surprised that the Travel Act (over the touring escorts) was not thrown in the federal complaint, but the actual indictment is not filed yet, so this is still a possibility.

Read the complaint, which I downloaded in PACER this morning, to understand why you should never participate in the TER (the erotic review) game. I have said it before and I'll say it again: TER is where local and federal agents investigating prostitution participate. The forums are entrenched with cops, whether you choose to believe it or not. The complaint and a few other docs:

I dare you to read that complaint and defend TER to me. At this point, the Lombardos are being held without bail, though they do have arraignment in early August - the 1st I believe. They are both better off staying in custody - that way when they plead to charges, the time served will be counted. And they will eventually plead to charges in this case.

The investigator in this case is a NYPD detective. You could bet your last $ that he's on TER. At any rate, Pamela seemed like a nice woman to me and I am sorry that this has happened to her. I'd also bet that there's an escort or two involved. I have read numerous online stories about Aphrodite Companions written by women claiming to have worked there, but have serious doubts about the veractity of each.

I will post an update when the indictment is available - probably within a week or so.