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Prostitution witchhunts


pierrot
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One thing there has been little comment on here is what does the Spitzer situation mean for us. What if our local attorneys general decide to crack down on all sorts of prostitution? Are those of us who hire and those of us who escort in serious danger of prosecution?

Spitzer hired from an agency. Some of the escorts discussed here are with agencies too. Are they at more risk of prosecution than the freelancers?

Do the escorts we see keep records of our phone numbers? Could those of us who hire be traced through an escort's records?

What about our e-mail addresses? Can those be traced if the police have a warrant to investigate an escort?

Are any of us safe?

What should we do to avoid legal problems?

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Hi Pierrot:

 

It would seem that the crackdown that nabbed dear Elliot may have been a reaction to his over zealous prosecution of escort services and their clients. The next shoe to drop will end up being the attorneys attempting to overturn his convictions based on prior biases.

 

Sometimes politicians develope a percieved insulation after being in the system overtime; they believe they can function above the laws that they create that the rest of us are forced to follow.

 

They fail to understand that they are being watched by an equally zealous media that is looking for the next headline. Or, perhaps they start believing their own press clippings.

 

Either way, as we head to November, the stories will get juicier! David Hernandez and the rest of us can maybe relax for the moment.

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Guest ncm2169

If I do a google search for my email addy (which happens to also be my Review handle on both Daddy's and MER), among the very first search results are my posted Reviews. I'm not a tekkie, but I assume there's a way "they" can trace me from my email addy and my Reviews. Allegedly, for a fee to join a website, I can also be traced by my cell phone number.

 

As for escorts "keeping records," as I have noted, I have a roommate who is an escort, and, yes, he archives all his client contacts' email. He never shares it with anyone, but he occasionally uses it to send a "broadcast" email to people who have shown some interest in him. So, yes, I suppose if he were to be targeted and his computer was confiscated, your email addy, etc. (if you ever contacted him) could be found and used to trace you.

 

All that said, I don't see any evidence of The Vice targeting online M4M "encounters." (The Las Vegas sting notwithstanding.) And even beyond "that said," a cautionary note to both escorts/"masseurs" and clients: it IS well known that The Vice in various localities regularly reads the posts on Craig's List. It is NOT a totally safe place to either advertise or troll/contact.

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If you look at what has been reported this did not start out as a prostitution investigation. It was an investigation into financial irregularities reported by Mr. Spitzer's bank. That led to the prostitution but I think what will get him is the fact that he probably engaged in a form of money laundering.

 

I think you're pretty safe as long as you don't wire money overseas for sex and try to make it look like a legitimate business transaction.

 

Mark

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>If you look at what has been reported this did not start out

>as a prostitution investigation.

 

Absolutely. But the US media is involved and "prostitution" is more salacious and makes better headlines than "money laundering". Money laundering is merely illegal (and most folks probably wish they had enough money to launder some). Prostitution is "dirty" to most of the country, and - typically - they can't wait to hear more!

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Guest zipperzone

>>If you look at what has been reported this did not start

>out

>>as a prostitution investigation.

>

>Absolutely. But the US media is involved and

>"prostitution" is more salacious and makes better

>headlines than "money laundering". Money laundering

>is merely illegal (and most folks probably wish they had

>enough money to launder some). Prostitution is

>"dirty" to most of the country, and - typically -

>they can't wait to hear more!

 

I have read or heard (can't remember which) that it was not really the bank transactions that started the investigation. It was started by a tip from an insider who knew what was going on and the bank transaction b.s. was the excuse used so as to not have to disclose the true source of the whistle blower.

 

Furthermore it is not believed that a bank would bother to investigate or report transactions as small as Spitzer was making. The transactions that a bank would consider as suspicious would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, such as those used to launder drug money etc. Spitzer's transactions were small fry.

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I'm not entirely sure, but I think that all banks in the US are required to report all transactions of more than $10,000 to---somebody. Hopefully a poster who is more familiar with the law than I can shed more light. Many people keep bank transactions just below $10,000 to avoid just such investigations into their personal business.

To me, "the long arm of the law" is growing and growing and our privacy is almost non-existent. Laws that were intended to nab organized criminals (RICO act) and terrorists (Patriot Act) are, in my opinion, being misused to grab "enemies" of someone who has an axe to grind. Keeping things "private" seems next to impossible--if you use a computer, a cell phone, credit cards, bank accounts, have a passport or in general participate in 21st Century life.

Big Brother is indeed watching.

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Yeah, rings. I hate it whenever I see that word in a story about a prostitution arrest. These are businesses like any other business, at least when it comes to male escorts. But then it sounds more "salacious" when you say "ring" - makes it sound like some sort of criminal conspiracy. (But then, of course, because prostitution is illegal in the U.S., it IS a criminal conspiracy.... so I suppose the use of "ring" fits right in.)

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Many years ago, as a high schooler, I worked as a bank teller. We were instructed that any CASH transaction of $10,000 or more had to be reported to the Treasury Department. Mainly because large cash transactions were suspected as tax avoidance situations, involving "under the table" and "cash basis" business activities that tended to skirt tax reporting.

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Actually you are completely wrong. I asked my banker -- at the same bank as Mr. Spitzer's -- and he said that they routinely (on a weekly basis) report transactions that look suspicious to them to the IRS. That is quite common.

 

It would be nice to float all sort of conspiracy theories but what was reported is what actually happened.

 

This started out as an investigation of financial irregularities (and still is, for the most part) and that's how he was caught.

 

And why is it that the prostitutes are indicted but not the "johns?"

 

Mark

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That is correct and that's what made the bank suspicious because they also have to report when it looks like someone it trying to move $10,000 in small batches so it doesn't get reported and that is what Spitzer was doing by sending amounts adding up to more than $10,000 in small batches overseas to avoid being reported. That's what made the bank suspicious.

 

This happens all the time.

 

Mark

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Philly,

Apparently it is being Rumored that IF Spitzer wasn't such a "Hypocritical Bastard" he would have been Warned about the FBI watching him!

 

But the census was.."Let's watch him Crash and Burn"! LOL The Clown Dug his Own Grave!

 

The World's Oldest Profession will go on! ;-)

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Guest josephga

I wonder whats the % of women arrested for prostitution compared to men being arrested for it. I rarely hear of a man being arrested for escorting.

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Clients can relax. According to the Times:

 

"While in theory Mr. Spitzer could face charges of violating the Mann Act, a 1910 law, Mr. Stillman said it had almost never been used in modern times against customers, only those involved in managing a prostitution operation. 'The idea of prosecuting for it is just over the top,' he said. 'I just don’t see that as a reality here.'"

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/12/nyregion/12legal.html?_r=2&hp=&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin

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Even with the 3 Min "Speech" he gave..The Arrogance is still there, It will be interesting to see IF it ever goes away in Public? It sounded to me like he was reading it for "Someone Else"! HaHa

 

It's a definite he is not a well liked guy whatsoever! I'm guessing alot of people will be looking to see exactly WHAT they can charge him with and make it stick?

 

New Yorker's will know what I mean by..

"Bruno is Back"! Even though HE is under FBI Investigation! LOL

 

Just goes to prove "Book Smarts" and a Good Job..Money-Power "ain't" gonna guarantee Common Sense!

 

;-)

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This regulation has been around for 40 or more years. Apparently the database has well over 100 million transactions. The vast majority are legit.

 

Spitzer raised suspicions when he tried to structure a transaction over 10K into smaller ones and the bank got curious. The IRS suspected bribery and it unraveled for the governor from there.

 

The irony to me is that Spitzer used these very same tools in his prosecutions. His arrogance created his own hell.

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A few comments about the above responses.

 

I don't think it's necessarily true that clients can relax. Prostitution is illegal in most places and the fact that male online escorting is not currently a target doesn't mean that it will always be so. If the media become hysterical enough over something like the Spitzer case, some politician could try to make some hay. Unlikely, perhaps in NYC or LA, but not impossible.

 

No one has actually talked about what it takes to get arrested. In the Spitzer case, one of the incriminating elements was that he was recorded on the phone offering money for sex. Whether a similar offer by e-mail also runs the same risk of being intercepted and used by a prosecutor, I don't know. It makes me nervous though.

 

Spitzer is not being convicted of money laundering, I don't believe. He didn't launder any ill-gotten gains. He wasn't hiding money from illegal activities. The bank transfers to pay the hookers were just how the investigators got wind of the prostitution thing.

 

Spitzer was despised by many in the financial markets because he had been very active in investigating illegal maneuverings on Wall St. when he was Attorney General. I applaud him for this and for his hard line in dealing with market corruption. He also fought against the NY State Senate Republicans and their sleazy ringleader, Joe Bruno. I don't think it is just chance that Spitzer's playing with prostitutes just happened to come out now. He was targeted by major forces who wanted to get him. I think he's a great loss to the forces of reform in NY state.

 

I can't understand why he would make himself vulnerable like this. Yes, he is hypocritical as concerns prostitution. But he did plenty of good things in his time. Many people, and particularly men, have sexual needs that prostitution answers. That's why we're all here reading this board, right guys? So we're all hypocrites too if we bash Spitzer for this.

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>Spitzer is not being convicted of money laundering, I don't believe.

 

You would be correct. He isn't actually charged with anything yet.

 

>He wasn't hiding money from illegal activities.

 

Last I looked, hiring hookers was still illegal both in NY and in DC.

 

I doubt he will actually face charges, but his political career is in the toilet, and his marriage is probably circling the drain as well. Of course, according to Dr. Laura (I was surprised the bitch is still alive), it's the wife's fault anyway so he'll probably be glad to be rid of her.

 

There are many conspiracy theories floating around, but in reality he shot himself in the foot.

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>Yes, he is hypocritical as concerns prostitution. But he

>did plenty of good things in his time. Many people, and

>particularly men, have sexual needs that prostitution answers.

>That's why we're all here reading this board, right guys? So

>we're all hypocrites too if we bash Spitzer for this.

 

What are you talking about--people on this board being hypocrites?? I doubt that anyone on this message center has actively campaigned against prostitution let alone been involved in prosecuting prostitutes. I certainly haven't. I will go even further to say that if I ever were on a jury having to vote on prostitution charges, I would vote "not guilty" no matter what evidence be presented.

I laugh, laugh, laugh at Spitzer (and even harder at Sen. Craig) not because he hired a prostitute but because he's a hypocrite. To me, there's nothing funnier in the Universe than someone getting caught doing exactly what they vociforously denounce. I have never denounced prostitution (I argued for legalization in high school classes before I even came out or even knew there was such a thing as male prostitutes). I definitely have my faults, but being a hypocrite is certainly not one of them.

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>Yes, he is hypocritical as concerns prostitution. But he

>did plenty of good things in his time. Many people, and

>particularly men, have sexual needs that prostitution answers.

>That's why we're all here reading this board, right guys? So

>we're all hypocrites too if we bash Spitzer for this.

 

What are you talking about--people on this board being hypocrites?? I doubt that anyone on this message center has actively campaigned against prostitution let alone been involved in prosecuting prostitutes. I certainly haven't. I will go even further to say that if I ever were on a jury having to vote on prostitution charges, I would vote "not guilty" no matter what evidence be presented.

I laugh, laugh, laugh at Spitzer (and even harder at Sen. Craig) not because he hired a prostitute but because he's a hypocrite. To me, there's nothing funnier in the Universe than someone getting caught doing exactly what they vociforously denounce. I have never denounced prostitution (I argued for legalization in high school classes before I even came out or even knew there was such a thing as male prostitutes). I definitely have my faults, but being a hypocrite is certainly not one of them.

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>Actually you are completely wrong. I asked my banker -- at

>the same bank as Mr. Spitzer's -- and he said that they

>routinely (on a weekly basis) report transactions that look

>suspicious to them to the IRS. That is quite common.

>

>It would be nice to float all sort of conspiracy theories but

>what was reported is what actually happened.

>

>This started out as an investigation of financial

>irregularities (and still is, for the most part) and that's

>how he was caught.

>

>And why is it that the prostitutes are indicted but not the

>"johns?"

>

>Mark

 

I feel much safer about banking now that your banker filled you in on what is reported to the IRS.

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The US has freedom of religion. Or is supposed to, anyway. And there are religions and/or spiritual disciplines where sex is a positive thing. These include Tantric Yoga, and Metropolitan Community Churches, for example. I know of other churches where intelligent thought is highly prized, like the Quakers and the Unitarian Universalists, though I don't know, really, what their stance on sex is. I do know as long ago as the mid-70s that I sought out counceling from an MCC minister (who later became an elder of that religion) who (yes, he was speaking privately) said that he didn't see anything wrong with escorting, as long as it was practiced honorably. So, I'm afraid that while religion is one reason that prostitution isn't legal in the US, it is not as strong a reason, necessarily, as you are making out.

I think that the same reasons which make confidentiality important in this profession also inhabit clients from speaking out in favor of it being decriminalized. And the escorts themselves, Margo St. James notwithstanding, mostly don't want to go political on the question for fear of being arrested. However, our silence must go at least as far as the loug mouths of only certain denominations in keeping us illegal.

Myself, I'm sort of biding my time til gay marriage is a reality. That is actually more important to me than this question is. But by that time, sure I will have been retired and won't be worried about getting arrested any more. Yeah, sure I will. LOL

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