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Woman pleads guilty in Spitzer prostitution probe
Spitzer Prostitutio 5182169
Temeka Rachelle Lewis exits Manhattan federal court, Wednesday, May 14, 2008, in New York. Lewis is accused of booking clients for a prostitution ring and has pleaded guilty in the federal probe that brought down former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. - photo by Associated Press
    NEW YORK — A woman accused of booking johns for a high-priced call girl ring pleaded guilty Wednesday in the federal probe that brought down ‘‘Client No. 9,’’ former Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
    Temeka Rachelle Lewis, 32, entered the pleas to federal charges of promoting prostitution and money laundering. She’s among four defendants in the case involving the Emperor’s Club VIP.
    ‘‘I have no doubt she’ll never be in trouble again,’’ her attorney, Marc Agnifilo, told a U.S. magistrate.
    Under federal sentencing guidelines, Lewis could face around 16 months in prison when sentenced Aug. 10, her lawyer said. The maximum penalties are up to 25 years.
    Left unsaid during the brief hearing was whether Lewis has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in cases against other defendants, or provide evidence against Spitzer. Agnifilo took the unusual step of requesting that the written copy of Lewis’ plea bargain be sealed.
    ‘‘It is no secret that there is an ongoing investigation,’’ he told U.S. Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz. ‘‘There should not be speculation about where this case is going.’’
    Members of the news media objected and Katz said he would delay a ruling on that issue.
    Spitzer announced his resignation March 12. He has not been charged.
    The investigation into the high-end ring apparently began last year as a routine financial probe by the Internal Revenue Service. The investigation was referred to the U.S. attorney’s office last fall. The FBI secretly recorded conversations between Lewis, who lives in Brooklyn, and Spitzer about a Feb. 13 tryst with a prostitute named ‘‘Kristen’’ in Washington, according to court papers.
    The other defendants in the case are Mark Brener, 62, of Cliffside Park, N.J., who is accused of running the ring; Tanya Hollander, 36, of Rhinebeck, N.Y.; and Cecil Suwal, 23, who lives with Brener.
    Investigators say the ring made more than $1 million. A three-diamond prostitute cost $1,000 per hour; a seven-diamond prostitute could fetch $3,100 and the highest paid, $5,500 an hour, authorities said.
    The bookers arranged meetings between clients and more than 50 prostitutes in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Miami, London and Paris, prosecutors said.
    Conversations were recorded about ‘‘Client 9,’’ including one saying Kristen should take a train from New York to Washington for a tryst the night before Valentine’s Day, according to an affidavit. Spitzer is accused of paying $4,300 for her services.
    Investigators called Spitzer a repeat customer who spent tens of thousands of dollars on trysts with prostitutes. The scion of a Manhattan real estate developer, Spitzer reported $1.9 million in income to the IRS in 2006.
    Spitzer, who was New York’s attorney general before he became governor, built a reputation on Wall Street as a crusader against shady practices and overly generous compensation.
    Spitzer and his wife, Silda, have three teenage daughters.

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