Feds: Ex-Cop with Gambino Ties Ran Prostitution Empire

Michael Rizzi, a former NYPD officer who allegedly ran a massive prostitution operation that generated millions, was arrested yesterday morning at his home by Homeland Security agents.

He was freed on bond and the NYPD promptly returned him to custody on a gun charge. Allegedly a stolen pistol was found in his residence.

Rizzi is married to the daughter of Gambino crime family soldier Richard Juliano, whose older brother, Joseph "Sonny" Juliano, is a Brooklyn-based capo in the same family.

Michael Rizzi.... 

Rizzi was a cop from 1992 to 2000, when his career ended due to a back injury. He collected a disability pension.

The criminal complaint (PDF download) was filed in the Eastern District with U.S. District Court Judge Peggy Kuo on Friday.

The Federal criminal case against Rizzi stems from allegations that he had taken over and continued to run an online escorting business previously run by Marc Schulman, a Staten Island resident arrested in 2014 who pleaded guilty in 2015. Schulman was then sentenced to one year and one day for laundering more than $1 million through his business, Pure Platinum Models.

As is alleged in the complaint, between June 2012 and May 2016, Rizzi owned and operated BJM/Manhattan Stakes and Entertainment (BJM), a company that provided high-end prostitution services to customers in the New York metropolitan area. Until January 2016, BJM had an office located at 466 Wild Avenue in Staten Island. BJM advertised its services on more than 50 websites, including janeblow.com, nycescortsnyc.com, alluringcompanions.com, lushplaymates.com, and eliteescortsnyc.com.

BJM’s employees included telephone bookers who arranged appointments between prostitutes and BJM’s customers, as well as drivers who collected cash and receipts from BJM’s prostitutes.

Rizzi accepted applications for his “escort” business using his email account.

One applicant responded, “I am a fun loving girl who loves sex… I love sex and if I can get paid for it why not?”

BJM is a successor to Pure Platinum Models, a company that offered prostitution services. In 2012, the NYPD and HSI opened an investigation into Pure Platinum Models, which was closed in 2014. In 2012, BJM began providing many of the same prostitution services as Pure Platinum Models and used many of the same websites, employees, and prostitutes.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed that some of the sex workers employed by Rizzi allegedly charged as much as $2,000 per hour; in addition, several customers had allegedly spent more than $100,000 for escort services. Some spent as much as $25,000 in one night.

Rizzi was arrested back in 2009 by the NYPD's Organized Crime Investigation Division for his role in a sports gambling ring that involved -- who else? -- the Gambino crime family, to which his in-laws belong.

Rizzi was released on $500,000 bail secured by the house owned by his wife.

Conditions of his release included ceasing all operations of his company, ceasing contact with customers, escorts, employees, or potential witnesses and ceasing use of websites, email accounts, and any other business-related domains. He also has travel restrictions.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that it had taken steps to “restrain” Rizzi’s websites. And while most of the websites were no longer functioning -- one news report found that www.janeblow.com redirected visitors to www.eliteclubnyc.com.

Cosa Nostra News notes here that the previous website, the one supposedly closed, Pure Platinum Models, was up and running -- and the screen shots to prove it are above and below.

The Feds also are seeking the forfeiture of a residence Rizzi allegedly purchased in Florida with proceeds from his sex business.

Reference Documents

2016-05-20 Michael Rizzi - Criminal Complaint (EDNY) [Scribd]

PRESS RELEASE : Brooklyn Resident Arrested For Conspiring To Launder Multi-Million Dollar Prostitution Service Proceeds [U.S. Department of Justice]