Today’s news:

Boro woman arrested in prostitute ring

The alleged madam, Elena Trochtchenkova, sent her women across the globe to have sex with clients who paid between $500 and $1,500 per hour and requested specific looks and various sexual activities, according to federal officials. From as early as 2000, the scheme operated from New York Elites, at 12 East 32nd St. in Manhattan, where customers called in about women advertised on the escort service's Web site, the criminal complaint said.Trochtchenkova, 40; her boyfriend and alleged partner, Rady Abdel Salem Abbassy, 45; and secretary Valerie Hairston, 50, were arrested by immigration and customs officials and charged with interstate prostitution and laundering about $5.5 million in revenue, the complaint said.They were arraigned in Manhattan federal court on April 12. Trochtchenkova, born in Ukraine, was released after putting up her $1 million house in Forest Hills Gardens as bail. Hairston, of Manhattan, was also released on bail, but Abbassy, of Brooklyn, was held because he is an illegal immigrant from Egypt, officials said. They face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.According to the complaint, the defendants wracked up hefty hotel bills, sending women to 22 cities across the country. In September 2003 alone, their hotel spending came to more than $60,000, the complaint said.Federal officials also accused Trochtchenkova and Abbassy of setting up bank accounts under phony company names.Trochtchenkova's attorney, Isabelle Kirshner, said last Thursday she was not too familiar with the case but believed her client would fight the charges."We still have a presumption of innocence in this country, albeit watered down and threatened," she said from her Manhattan office. "I'm not going to throw my hands in the air. We'll look at what evidence they've got and go from there."Reach reporter Zach Patberg by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

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