Law enforcement said a tactic known as fishing – women trolling upscale restaurants and bars to find wealthy men to go on dates – was used by strippers and for four New York City men it was not your usual dinner and movie.
Four female strippers and a manager of a strip club were charged earlier this week in the alleged fishing scam. The scam involved spiking the drinks of the men, taking the men to a gentlemen’s club and then charging their credit cards with tens of thousands of dollars, said prosecutors.
The four women involved made pleas of not guilty to charges ranging from grand larceny, to conspiracy, forgery and assault.
The manager of the gentlemen’s club also gave a plea of not guilty to charges of grand larceny, conspiracy and tampering.
The four victims were said to be professional men who worked in the legal, financial and medical fields. None of the four was named in the indictment.
Authorities said the alleged perpetrators used substances such as ketamine, which is a tranquilizer, cocaine and methylone.
Once the victims were under the influence of the different drugs, they would be transported to one or the other strip clubs located in Queens or Manhattan.
At that point, the men were taken into a private, secluded room to be given adult entertainment.
The women then would consult with the club’s manager to charge the credit cards of the men from $5,000 to as much as $50,000 on one card or multiple ones.
The signatures of the men were forged or the men were told the charges had been much less at the time they signed the invoice.
One of the victims had over $100,000 of fraudulent charges on his account during a period of three nights, said authorities.
Some of the men woke up the next day in their own beds without knowledge of the club visit.
While the alleged false charges in the indictment total over $200,000 over a period of four months in late 2013, agents believe criminal activity of that sort might date back to 2011.