A retired NYPD detective and his wife have been named as the ringleaders of a police-led prostitution and gambling ring.
Ludwig Paz, 51, and Arelis Peralta from Queens, New York, were indicted on Thursday along with seven active duty NYPD officers.
Prosecutors say they ran a prostitution ring which consisted of brothels across Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, and illegal gambling rooms hidden in beauty salons.
Over the course of 13 months, the scheme allegedly pocketed them $2million. The brothels charged patrons $40 for 15 minutes of sexual activity and $160 an hour.
Paz and Peralta, who have children together, are said to have run seven of eight brothels between September 2016 and 2017.
Retired Vice detective Ludwig Paz, 51, and his wife Arelis Peralta have been charged with running a prostitution ring across Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island
He allegedly used his police knowledge to evade detection by making sure any new clients who visited the brothel took off their clothes before they got inside, ruling out the chance that any undercover cops had come because police officers are not allowed to expose their genitals when dealing with prostitutes while on duty.
He also, it is alleged, paid active duty cops for information so he was able to avoid being raided.
Paz and his wife were arrested along with seven active duty cops; Rene Samaniego, 43, Sergeant Carlos Cruz, 41, Giovanny Rojas Acosta, 40, Sergeants Cliff Nieves, 37, Steven Nieves, 32, Giancarlo Raspanti and Sergeant Louis Failla.
In total, however, 49 people were charged.
The investigation began in September 2015 after NYPD detectives received a tip-off about an operation.
Over the course of two years, they used wire taps to monitor the group and dismantle the operation.
According to police, Peralta and her husband also operated illegal lottery betting services out of beauty salons
The couple are said to have made $2million from the scheme over a year. They are pictured on a tropical vacation
Paz and his wife have enjoyed a lavish lifestyle over the last several years.
Social media photographs show them on South American vacations and in nightclubs surrounded by bottles of champagne.
Paz, Samaniego, Cruz and Rojas Acosta were all charged with enterprise corruption.
The Nieves brothers were charged with promoting prostitution and operating a brothel for the sole purpose of hosting a bachelor party.
Raspanti is accused of providing Paz with confidential police information in exchange for discounted sex at a brothel, and Failla is charged in connection with allegedly assisting Paz following a brothel raid.
Peralta is charged with enterprise corruption, fifth-degree conspiracy and first-degree promoting gambling.
Police say Paz used his knowledge of the police force to stop raids and even paid active duty cops in discounts at the brothels for inside information
The couple, who have two children, ran seven of the eight brothels, according to police
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said: ‘The vast majority of NYPD police officers are honest and dedicated to enforcing and upholding the law.
‘However, today’s indictments of one former detective and seven current police officers of the NYPD dishonor the badge.
‘The main culprit in this case – a retired detective – allegedly used his knowledge of the inner workings of the New York City Police Department to run a string of brothels in Queens, Brooklyn and Hempstead, Long Island.
‘These operations stop today.’
Police Commissioner O’Neill added: ‘These NYPD officers, who swore an oath to uphold ideals greater than themselves, have ruined their own careers and reputations.
‘More importantly, they have diminished the great work of tens of thousands of other honest and ethical cops.’
Giovanny Rojas (left) and Rene Samaniego (right) are among the active duty cops who were also charged