FBI probes local link to U.S. brothel circuit
Special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Pittsburgh are probing local connections to a nationwide string of high-priced brothels that have made millions of dollars selling sex for more than a decade.
Special Agent Jeff Killeen with the Pittsburgh FBI characterized the local connection as “minimal” and referred all questions to federal authorities in Miami.
The U.S. Attorney and FBI special agents in Miami announced Monday that they had dismantled “The Circuit” — which operated in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix and New Orleans. Thirteen people, primarily owners and operators, were charged with racketeering and selling sex-enhancing drugs, according to the indictment.
Federal officials in Miami said The Circuit was associated with a similar prostitution ring smashed in New Orleans in March. That operation snared 13 prostitutes, including two local women — Kathleen Ann Pustay, also known as Kay Carlson, 35, of Oakland; and Paula “Tiffany” Cherish, 37, of Arnold, Westmoreland County.
A Mt. Lebanon man has been indicted on charges that he tried to sell computer software that he did not own.
Anthony J. Zumbo, 34, of Moreland Drive, has been charged in federal court with wire fraud, attempted computer fraud and computer fraud, U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan’s office announced Wednesday.
According to the indictment, Zumbo tried to sell a software product owned by Elan Communications and Exhibitgroup Giltspur to one of their competitors, Freeman Exhibit Co. Using the name Virtuacon, Zumbo gave representatives from Freeman Exhibit access to the computer program, Buchanan’s office said.
Freeman Exhibit cut off negotiations when the company realized the program was owned by Elan Communications and Exhibitgroup Giltspur. Freeman Exhibitor cooperated with an FBI investigation.
If convicted on all three counts, Zumbo could face 15 years in prison and fines totaling $750,000.
A Beaver County man who allegedly operated a bogus real estate-investment scheme has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh.
The 29-count indictment charges Michael R. Enelow, 61, of Aliquippa, with wire and mail fraud.
According to the indictment, Enelow solicited real estate investments using newspaper advertisements throughout the United States. More than 1,000 people invested up to $1,500 in Enelow’s bogus real estate scam. Prosecutors said Enelow misrepresented his financial resources and the volume of his real estate transactions.
Enelow’s real estate dealings were minimal, and he depended on the money he received to pay his personal expenses, the indictment said.
Enelow faces up to 145 years in prison and a fine of up to $7.3 million.
Two individuals who allegedly possessed false-identification documents have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh.
Garcia faces up to three years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if convicted.
Zu faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service and Pennsylvania state police conducted investigations that led to the indictments.
A federal judge in Pittsburgh on Wednesday sentenced a former Beaver County bank teller who had pleaded guilty to stealing almost $20,000 from her bank drawer.
Alisha Renee Lilley Goodman, 23, of Route 168 in Hookstown, will serve one day in prison, five months of home detention and three years of supervised release.
While working as a teller at the Midland branch of Sky Bank, Goodman took cash from her drawer on nine occasions between Nov. 16, 1999 and Jan. 5, 2000. She then falsified her daily cash-balancing records, U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan’s office said. In total, she took $19,444.
Goodman pleaded guilty to a charge of misapplication of funds by a bank employee in June. Senior U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond ordered Goodman to repay the money.