MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — The ringleader of a Russian-mob involved in the Miami Beach “B-Girl” scam has been sentenced to three years in federal prison.
A Miami judge on Friday agreed that 46-year-old Alec Simchuk deserved credit for voluntarily returning from Russia, pleading guilty and testifying against others.
Simchuk, formerly of Hallandale Beach, came to the U.S. even though Russian thugs broke one of his legs in a bid to stop him from cooperating.
The scam involved attractive Russian and Eastern European women who trolled South Beach hotels, such as the Delano, Clevelander and others along Ocean Drive in order to lure the men to seedy after-hours private clubs. Once in the private clubs, the women plied the male visitors with liquor to get them drunk and then charged huge amounts on their credit cards. Total losses were in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In Simchuk’s plea agreement, he admitted that his organization ran up bogus bills for booze, wine and champagne on the credit cards of bedazzled male tourists, prosecutors said.
In total, the B-Girls, who received 20 percent commissions for bringing in customers, ripped off about 90 patrons, mostly tourists or businessmen with telltale signs of wealth, such as expensive watches or shoes, authorities said.
Most of the 19 people charged in the scam have been convicted.
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