The Latest: Lawyer says ex-policeman ran legitimate business

AP News
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Posted: May 24, 2016 9:43 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on a former New York City police officer accused of running a prostitution ring (all times local):

9:40 p.m.

A defense lawyer says a retired New York City police officer accused of running a prostitution ring that charged customers as much as $2,000 an hour ran a legitimate business.

The New York Times says attorney Javier Solano told reporters outside a federal courtroom Tuesday there was no sex involved and the business provided only companionship.

Former policeman Michael Rizzi was arrested at his Brooklyn home and faces federal money laundering charges.

Prosecutors say Rizzi ran a prostitution ring called BJM/Manhattan Stakes and Entertainment between 2012 and 2016. They say the company advertised on more than 50 websites with names such as Lush Playmates.

Rizzi has pleaded not guilty and has been released on $500,000 bond.

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5:15 p.m.

A retired New York City police officer has been accused of running a prostitution ring that charged customers as much as $2,000 an hour and faces federal money laundering charges.

Michael Rizzi was arrested Tuesday at his Brooklyn home.

U.S. Attorney Robert Capers says Rizzi ran a prostitution ring called BJM/Manhattan Stakes and Entertainment between 2012 and 2016.

Prosecutors say the company advertised on more than 50 websites with names such as Lush Playmates. They say some clients spent more than $25,000 for a night.

Prosecutors say Rizzi set up personal and business bank accounts to launder the millions of dollars the business took in.

Rizzi has pleaded not guilty in federal court and has been released on $500,000 bond. His attorney hasn't returned a call seeking comment.