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Desert Diva's Sad Updates - Ongoing
04-17-2009, 01:10 AM (This post was last modified: 05-01-2009 02:53 AM by davephx.)
Post: #1
Desert Diva's Sad Updates - Ongoing
Desert Diva's Sad Update
From "Reliable Source"

Well the deed is done. Paul, Scott and Peter have all taken pleas to avoid going to trial and prison for life. With no hard evidence except a poorly recorded digital recording of an undercover with some joking on it, statements with lies from people of poor character, and threats of new charges, the three decided the collateral damage would be minimized with the plea.

The alternative was that the prosecutor would go back to the grand jury with new evidence, then she would charge them with the 702, which would make each bank deposit Peter made a felony money laundering charge, meaning that after the 3rd charge, if he lost, it would go to maximum sentencing, which could mean the rest of his life.

Scott is still in jail, facing charges in New Mexico, and Paul and Peter will be sentenced on June 18th. They dropped all the prostitution charges, but all three of them got the same deal (which is absurd, as Peter had no control over the business whatsoever): One count of Money Laundering (making the bank deposits), One count of control of an illegal operation (trying to make him a manager), and one count of use of a wire for illegal means (for paying the bills on line). It has been one of the most injustice ridden travesties to ever happen in this town. Paul and Peter will get probation for the first 2 counts, and they are asking for 2.5 years minimum on the third count.

On June 18th there will be a mitigation hearing for Peter, at this hearing the judge will hear from all of the people that are willing to stand up for Peter. At that time the judge will get to hear his side of the story and decide if he will reduce the sentence. We feel pretty confident that he will drop the time to 6 mos or less based on the number of people willing to step up for him (there are at least 60 people we know of so far).

Paul's case is on the 26th I think, if you know anyone who would want to stand up for him, they can call Marc Victor, attorneyforfreedom.com

There is no doubt that Paul and his mouth put Peter in this mess, the tape at the lunch with the undercover was really bad, and tho Peter never said anything incriminating, there was plenty said by Paul, event though it was circumstantial and taken out of context, it still was bad.

And Adam, the web guy, was told if he testified against Peter that he would get a deal, and he agreed to say that he and Paul joked about the girls in front of Peter so he must have known what was going on.

Sean put it in writing that if he was going down he would fuck everyone on his way, so he rolled to save himself as well, and one of the girls' defense attorney's told me they had contacted a doctor on the list who they threatened with arrest if he did not testify against one of the girls. The girls were given a deal that made them say that Peter was a manager. Paul and Scott did remove that from their deal, and in Peter's deal they call him the accountant.

Because of this he will no longer be able to represent his clients as an enrolled agent for the IRS. He is training his daughter to be an EA, so that he can still continue his business. And of course, he loses all his property, although his wife will continue the civil claim, even though the IRS has levied everything that is in forfeiture. She would rather see the IRS get it than the state at this point.

They will lose their home now, and probably never see any of their stuff again, so it really sucks for them, but they are taking it well and have vowed to carry on. His practice is still strong, and they will recover all they have lost.

It just really sucks that he had to admit to being a criminal when he did everything right. It is just a shame. And the real list is still out there, and will be released so that the names that are on it that they covered up will be exposed. (The customer List of Desert Divas)

The story is not over yet.

Dave notes:
I always was concerned that the lunch meeting with Peter, Paul and the cop was the biggest risk to Peter based on the extensive repot on that meeting in the police report. What is the worst part is that its a crime at all to run a relatively honest escort business which would be legal in almost all the world and no big deal.

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04-17-2009, 06:37 PM
Post: #2
RE: Desert Diva's Sad Update
Local news is breaking the story:

http://www.kpho.com/news/19212708/detail.html

http://www.azfamily.com/news/local/stori...6c402.html
Above I posted the first reader comment saying:
A huge waste of resources for a victimless crime of providing in private consenting adult pleasure legal without any real negatives (out call escorts) in all most all the world except the U.S.

These are not street hookers with pimps. Many were collage students earning extra money. No trafficking no victims but in many ways a benefit to a culture other than the unique legal risks.

Many wives support husbands going to safe, private sexworkers vs an affair when often the women isn't as interested in sex. Or the natural desire to have variety in sexual interactions.

This is common in most human societies and in most of nature. Biblically no issue since never a word said wrong with common prostitutes (not the Goddess worshiping in the public Temples of Corinth where the idolatry was the sin not sex or prostitution)

Nothing ever wrong with a many having as many concubines and wives as he could afford. Yet its the ignorant Christian right that supports these unique to the U.S. oppressive laws which under Lawrence vs Texas may be unconstitutional. That decision made clear that laws can not be based on "morality" and the government has no business in private bedrooms.

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04-17-2009, 07:11 PM
Post: #3
RE: Desert Diva's Sad Update
Follow up on Attorney Marc Victor
"Reliable Source" now outs herself as Peter's wife which I suspected all along.
I asked her how she felt the attorney did. She responds:

The guys were very disappointed in Marc's defense skills. They feel he should have filed a complaint against the prosecutor immediately when she made the faux pas about them not being able to talk to her with him as their attorney. He missed the boat and took away their only ace in the hole. He was nowhere near as aggressive as he should have been, never went over the plea agreement with Peter until the day of the plea, and continuously lumped Peter in with Scott and Paul instead of separating them. It was pretty bad, and they feel like he got a lot of money (almost 200K) for doing very little.

What brought everyone down was the meticulous record keeping required by the city as part of their regs for escort services. If they had been hiding money, or the clients, there would have been much less evidence if they had not been doing everything according to the law. In addition, Peter would have never gotten involved with them if he had not had several legal opinions that the operation was totally within the law. He would have never risked his life and family for the money had he known where it would have taken him.

I hope this is a good lesson for the other services out there. The prosecution said to Marc: "Everyone knows that an escort service is just a front for prostitution." If that is so, then why does the city license it? The fact that they received income in the form of taxes means they also benefitted from this organization, so they are as guilty as Pete, but there is a double standard.

Thanks for all the support, Dave, we all appreciate your good work. By the way, I am Peter's Wife. Take care,

Peace.
Terri

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04-17-2009, 07:26 PM
Post: #4
RE: Desert Diva's Sad Update
Another cute comment:
Yes, but this is what happens when a man tries to do a womans job. Miss Kitty never got busted by Matt Dillon.

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04-17-2009, 08:36 PM
Post: #5
RE: Desert Diva's Sad Update
Update from Chan 12 news

Still one outstanding person related to DD has not yet been taken into custody.

Regarding the massive customer list, Police are still reviewing and have until August to make arrests before the statute of limitations runs out.

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04-17-2009, 11:35 PM (This post was last modified: 04-18-2009 01:31 AM by davephx.)
Post: #6
RE: Desert Diva's Sad Update
Pandering and lawyers defense
Someone asked what Pandering was:
Procuring or pandering is the facilitation or provision of a prostitute in the arrangement of a sex act with a customer. Pimps are known under the law as procurers. Examples of procuring include:
* bringing a prostitute into a country for the purpose of soliciting sex
* operating a prostitution business,
* transporting a prostitute to the location of their arrangement, etc.
Source: Wikipedia

In my view Peter (the accountant) is far less guilty than the others and he kept very good records of all the money transactions. If he wanted to hide the money he wouldn't have done such a good job accounting for it in the records.

I have also made various comments about the lawyering.

For the $200,000 in legal fees I was disappointed they didn't attack the prostitution law it self either using Lawrence vs Texas Supreme Court case or attacking the vagueness of the Arizona law. The might have had a jury that would be more favorable and I am not sure taking a plea agreement helped them vs what they would get if the went to trial.

But I am not trying to be a lawyer but having a lot of info on the case I think it could have been defended. However, as I had said from the start after reading the police report the totally worst part for Peter was the lunch with Paul and the cop. But the tape was muffled and the undercover's report could be attacked in the view of some related to Peter.

Paul's situation was much worse, the solicitation at meet and greets and a whole lot more. But the accountant who may have known what was going on, but simply kept good records and his spreading money in different accounts he recommended for any business I believe was unfairly treated. Especially since many of the plea deals of others including some of the gals, were for them to say things about Peter that may or may not have been totally true. But I don't know the truth either.

It was disgusting how County Attorney Andrew Thomas talked about how they "enslaved" women working for them. I doubt any of the escorts felt that way but it makes a false justification for the waste of so much money to go after DD.

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04-18-2009, 12:05 AM (This post was last modified: 04-18-2009 10:35 PM by davephx.)
Post: #7
RE: Desert Diva's Sad Update
Update

I have been in extensive e-mail exchanges with Peter's wife. She has always wanted info to be public but am not including what I consider more personal comments. But here is some more points that may be of interest:

Paul, Peter and Sheila had not made their minds up about the deal until the time they actually went into the courtroom, it was that close. But when people started signing deals saying Peter was a manager, and they threatened the clients with jail to turn on the girls, we knew it would be VERY difficult to win if we went to trial, especially for Paul and Sheila, and the odds were not strong enough for Peter to take a chance for the rest of his life in jail.

Regarding Marc, this case was way over his head, we have used him in the past for clients, and when our son got in trouble. He is good at getting the deals, and he does win at trial, but this case was not a fair case. They used a lot of dirty tactics to get to this point, it is tough when they have all the advantage, which is why there is not much choice other than pleading at this point for anyone who is left. If they are pressuring the clients to talk against the girls in lieu of jail, there is very little hope.

She later commented after I discussed how I would challenge the law, "Unfortunately Marc was not the person to challenge the laws. I thought he had more backbone than that, so now I know better."

Of the 12 girls that were interviewed, 6 of them said they had sex 50% of the time, the others 60% to 70%, only one said 99%, and she was a crackhead and a trouble maker that Paul had fired. There were lots of interviews and lots of stuff being said to save peoples asses, so it will be difficult to defend this case.

Which leaves the list: I would like to go through the list and release the names that they covered up in the list they released. That way they cannot protect their own, and they have some damage as well. We have the complete list, and if another service wants it is available, but I will not release it publicly. Too many people have been hurt already.

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04-18-2009, 02:12 AM
Post: #8
Corrected Pandering Def and KPHO bad comments
Ignore the prior pandering definition from a legal dictionary that implies exploitation.

Most definitions require some kind of exploitation such as a pimp. But AZ Statute 13-3209 is far broader:
A person is guilty of a class 5 felony who knowingly:
1. Places any person in the charge or custody of any other person for purposes of prostitution.
2. Places any person in a house of prostitution with the intent that such person lead a life of prostitution.
3. Compels, induces or encourages any person to reside with that person, or with any other person, for the purpose of prostitution.
4. Compels, induces or encourages any person to lead a life of prostitution.

KPHO NEWS 10PM Update
County Attorney Andrew said about VIP clients that "not only paid for sex but wrote reviews of the so called performance of the prostitutes." They pointed out Dr. Ross Levatter who wrote reviews and replayed the tape of last August of his "shocked" neighbor. Than they reported that police are still looking for David Elms who owned a website where customers would write reviews of the prostitutes.

Dave notes - actually no one was charged with prostitution. Dr Levatter somehow plead to ATTEMPTED Money Laundering (Huh? he was just a customer) and admitted to attempting to possess money that was proceeds from pandering.... Another huh? And customers Stirling and Ferretti pled guilty to ATTEMPTED pandering. It seems like the pandering was due to the reviews! Both were known very active reviewers. Someone told me Ferreti had 150 posted reviews and the Dr about 40. It is reported that they also were given discounts.

Was posting reviews or if the discounts given were known by LE, result in "attempted pandering" under the AZ definition: Compels, induces or encourages any person to lead a life of prostitution. I guess encouragement might imply but I wonder if a jury would have reached that conclusion with a good defense argument

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04-18-2009, 11:24 AM (This post was last modified: 04-18-2009 11:24 AM by davephx.)
Post: #9
RE: Desert Diva's Sad Update
I posted my usual comments to the Pennsylvania paper that outed Ferreti in his home town so badly and asked "Why report on all the charges that were DROPPED. Just for sensationalism?"

Other replies regarding Bill White the reporter on the story:

Why is this local "news" story (from 2000+ miles away) being reported on by a hack gossip columnist who "eats his way through Musikfest" every year? Sensationalism is right. Stick to movie trivia and adorable puppies, Bill.
--
I have to agree with the 2 above posters. This so called reporter not only "trashed" this man BUT also gave most of his background, PRIVATE background. lets hope that White gets arrested and his colleagues do THE same to him lol lol What a loser !

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04-18-2009, 04:26 PM
Post: #10
RE: Desert Diva's Sad Update
4/18/09 Arizona Republic Article

It calls it the Desert Diva's sex syndicate now as well as the "ring"

3 "VIP" customers arrested who wrote positive online reviews of prostitutes to receive reduced rates, Andrew Thomas said.

The Dr was also listed as a DD investor not just a client.

As previously reported police spent 2 years on the investigation (of private consensual sex) and involved about 50 arrests (many gals)

On Clients:
Others from the list of 3000 suspected johns seized from the DD ledgers could eventually face arrest for misdemeanor solicitation.
I note that solicitation of prostitution involves the mandatory 15 day minimum jail time, but almost all of the DD gals pleaded guilty to a class 6 felony which avoids the mandatory 15 days in jail.

Owner Paul Nichta acknowledged that his business was a criminal prostitution enterprise when he pleaded guilty to illegal control of an enterprise and other charges.

Police said their probe into Nichta led to the arrest of David Elms, founder of the California-based Erotic Review prostitution Web site. Based on an informant's tip, Phoenix detectives arrested Elms in February in northeast Phoenix after arranging a meeting where they said Elms contracted an undercover officer as a hit-man to murder a woman in California. A warrant is out for his arrest after he posted a $150,000 bond and fled, officials said.

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04-20-2009, 02:01 AM (This post was last modified: 04-20-2009 02:02 AM by davephx.)
Post: #11
RE: Desert Diva's Sad Update
Summary 4/19/2009 by T, Peter's wife after many exchanges some made public and some private between us:

I like what you say, Dave, and your posting was great. Here are the questions that everyone should ask regarding this case:

Why were none of the main owners charged with ANY counts of Prostitution related charges (with the exception of control of an illegal operation)? Sheila (who had no control over anything) was the only one of the managers with a prostitution charge.

Why did the state refuse to exchange Peter for Dave Elms? How is Peter a bigger catch than that?

Why did they make Paul go after Dave Elms if they were going to let him go? (they did that intentionally, they are not that stupid)

Why is Peter being treated on the same level as Paul and Scott?

Who were the women that were "used" and how is the way they ran the business "what happens in these types of services"? Those girls were there because they wanted to be, no one was using them, they got the bulk of the fees, and did what they wanted.

If the city believes that, why do they grant the license? I still feel there is a case against the city for granting the license in the first place. (Dave notes I don't think this is as much of an issue since escorts are licensed to go on dinner dates with men etc., not for sex)

If this was such a big deal, why did the media not cover it more? They know these guys were being railroaded.

Why was Peter never given the opportunity for a "free" talk, to tell his side? They refused to speak to him about anything. He never had one interview with the prosecution.

There are lots more inconsistencies in this case, and I will make sure that they are known before all is said and done here. We just have to lay low until the mitigation hearing, but then there will be lots to say! ( She is talking to major magazines about an article which I have made suggestions on the approach which she has indicated agreement with. I am also not posting details yet on sexwork.com as some degree of quietness may help before the sentencing and mitigation hearing in June. More about that on the board)

Of course the industry is shaken up, that was their purpose in sending these guys to jail. They had very little hard evidence, and used dirty tricks and nasty tactics to get them all to plea. We all should take that as a lesson as to the extent they are willing to go. We all should be VERY afraid. They took everything we own in this, and Peter was a minor player. I will be homeless when he goes to jail Imagine what else they can do...

One of the prosecutors said to Marc. "We are not the moral police" and he responded, "YOU ARE the moral police, that is why we are here!" She could not respond to that.

It is very sad that we have come to this point in our society that we would rather send someone to jail for making love than someone like Elms who is a true evil person. If Peter did not have to go to prison, we would have left this country by now, as we are fast turning into a police state, and it is not going to get any better. Now we will have to wait years before we can do that.

Oh well, so it goes...Keep blogging out there, Dave, and don't stop fighting for the girls, they need you.

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04-20-2009, 03:31 AM
Post: #12
RE: Desert Diva's Sad Update
Regarding Pandering:
The AZ Statute is far broader than the usual legal definition - which could also result in a legal challange. In the case of some of the DD customers charged with pandering it was noted in at least one media report that they got discounts for their reviews. That may have been what tipped the pandering charges - well actually they pled gulity to "attempted pandering"

As Ana pointed out wisely:

Pandering penalizes various acts by intermediaries who engage in the commercial exploitation of prostitution and are aimed at those who, as agents, promote prostitution rather than against the prostitutes themselves.
http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/pandering/

The most common definition of pandering is "the act of recruiting a prostitute, finding a place of business for a prostitute or soliciting customers for a prostitute." In some states, this crime is expanded to include the sale or distribution of textual or visual material openly advertised to appeal to the recipient's sexual interest.
http://www.uniteddefensegroup.com/crimes_pandering.htm

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05-01-2009, 02:53 AM
Post: #13
RE: Desert Diva's Sad Update
Desert Divas Updates

Scott Eder...
From "Reliable Source"
Scott was sentenced Wednesday 4/29/09. He got 2.5 years, minimum security, with time served, good behavior and such he is looking at 14 mos, maybe less. The judge waived the $100K fine, which is good, as he will probably do the same for Peter.

The prosecutor sent an email out to all the girls telling them if they want to come in and speak against him they could, and NO ONE showed up.

All the girls had to take felony pleas, which means they will not be able to get good jobs in the future. One girl was going to school to be a nurse, and the judge and prosecutor were encouraging her to continue taking the classes, one problem: people with felonies cannot be nurses! So they are making her think she is still going to be able to make something of her life and they have ruined it for her, a single mom. The bastards...

Dave notes: On the felony pleas of the gals and jobs - A Class 6 felony is usually dropped to a class 1 misdemeanor after completion of probation unless otherwise directed at sentencing or if weapons etc are involved....not just big breasts as weapons. Hopefully this may not interfere with nursing or other careers. There is even a Form "Application to Designate Class 6 Open Felony As A Misdemeanor" at http://www.pubdef.maricopa.gov/Misdemean...%20mot.pdf

Also, everyone was told that they would not get a deal unless they agreed to testify against Paul, Peter, and Scott. That is why they had to take the plea themselves instead of fighting it. In addition, they were going back to the grand jury, supposedly with more evidence. This was the best option for everyone.

Next sentencing will be for Peter on June 18th. We are encouraging anyone with anything non-incriminating and positive to say about Peter to contact Marc to give us a letter or to come in person to court.
===============================================
From Another Great Source or looks up case records at Courthouse:
Scott Eder...
The prosecutor filed a recommendation with the court asking they sentence Scott to 2.5 years in prison, 4 years probation, 1/7 of his sentence in community service and a $100,000 fine.

Also, in the recommendation she filed she stated that Scott was at one time the sole owner of Az Confidential and that Paul Nichta used his influence with Dave Elms of TER to have all of Az Confidentials reviews removed and then moved in to buy him out as his business declined. She referred to Eder as Head Pimp #2. She also stated in her filing that the majority of the girls stated that Eder and Nichta were crude, rude and mean. Many stated they were afraid of them.

Paul Nichta and Peter Shiffman and Scott Eder
In their plea agreement attached as a addendum was their allocution. In that statement as told in the news conference they admitted the business was a front for a high end prostitution business They name each other as managers which also included Sean Carter and Shelia Bucolo.

The disturbing thing in this document was the admission by all three that they acknowledge that The Erotic Review's Reviews were what they relied on to increase their business and that the reviews were the actual acts performed by the girls for the prices posted in the reviews. In other words no fantasy of any kind.

I am no lawyer but it appears to me that was a substantial admission. Brings the question do they plan on going after TER as part of the conspiracy or the guys who wrote the reviews or other review sites for the same issues. I would love to know how the 1st amendment plays into this admission they made.

Does it also mean they can indict TER as a co conspirator in this case.. I believe the next time I go back I will pay for copies of those documents. Would like for someone to read it and give thier legal interpertation of what it may or may not mean.
===============================================
From Court Records
One gal sentenced to 1 yr probation for Facilitation to Commit Illegal Control of an Enterprise - Class 1 Misdemeanor

CHARLES LEE SANDERS sentenced to 1 yr probation Facilitation to Commit Illegal Control of an Enterprise - Class 6 Felony

Dave wonders if the gals Class 1 Misdemeanor is an error in the minute entry since everyone else had the Class 6 Felony which after probation can be reduced to the Class 1 Misdemeanor.

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