Husband and wife arrested in prostitution ring

July 18, 2013 8:03:37 PM PDT
A couple on Long Island is charged with running a high-priced call girl ring over the internet.

Police say it was international in scope with prostitutes dispatched to South Africa and Israel.

This federal complaint reads like a porn novel.

Investigators claim a couple who lived and worked in Massapequa made millions running a high class, international escort service that was a front for prostitution.

Now, they're behind bars facing federal charges.

The escort service "Aphrodite Companions" was named after the Greek goddess of love, but investigators say its owners were more focused on the pleasure business.

Federal prosecutors have charged husband and wife Vincent and Melissa Lombardo with money laundering and prostitution.

For the last two years, investigators allege the couple acted as brokers for sex, matching beautiful women in cities across the country and around the world with "Johns."

They orchestrated their business through a website, but their attorney says his clients did nothing illegal.

"They're alleging that prostitution took place in such far-away places as Nevada, California. My clients are in Florida and New York. How do they know what's going on between two people that they make an introduction," said Robert Del Col, defense attorney.

In a criminal complaint, investigators laid out some of their evidence, including an email to an escort about a Miami event involving politicians, lawyers, and businessman.

The Lombardo's wrote dinner, mingling, and "intimate time" would be included in her work hours, but promised earnings of $3,000 to $8,000.

On one occasion, a woman described as a beautiful upscale European escort from the states traveled to Dubai where she was advertised as available for services.

The Lombardo's would allegedly get a 30 to 40% cut of whatever the girls earned.

The couple owned a home in Boca Raton, but rented in Massapequa.

Neighbors say they had just moved in a few months ago after Superstorm Sandy and kept to themselves.

"I'm shocked. I'm shocked. I'm really shocked. It's a quiet neighborhood. I can't believe it," said June Brady, a neighbor.

The couple was arrested Wednesday night by officers from the NYPD and agents from Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs.

This was a multi-state investigation that involved surveillance in both Florida and New York.

Bail has not yet been set.

The couple is due back in court August 1st.