Group charged with drugging, extorting rich men at strip clubs - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Group charged with drugging, extorting rich men at strip clubs

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Roadhouse in Queens, NY, is one of the strip clubs where a group is accused of slipping rich men drugs and stealing from them. (Source: CBS) Roadhouse in Queens, NY, is one of the strip clubs where a group is accused of slipping rich men drugs and stealing from them. (Source: CBS)

NEW YORK (CBS) - Five people were freed on bail Thursday morning after pleading not guilty in a case where rich men were allegedly drugged at upscale bars and strip clubs.

Prosecutors said the suspects, four women and one man, targeted men from September to December last year. They are suspected of arranging dates with four victims and giving them drugs like Ecstasy and cocaine, sometimes unknowingly.

The accused ring leader, according to court documents, is 40-year-old Samantha Barbash. She was arrested Monday.

Barbash's attorney said "someone has fabricated facts and provided them to the authorities."

Officials identified her alleged accomplices as Karina Pascucci, Marsi Rosen, Roselyn Keo and Carmine Vitolo, a manager at the Roadhouse strip club in Queens.

"Traditionally, you warn women or young girls to be careful who you talk to in bars," said James Hunt, DEA acting special agent in charge. "Somebody could put something in your drink, slip you a mickey, so to speak. In this case it's the opposite."

While intoxicated, the men were taken either to Roadhouse or Scores, another strip club in Manhattan. They were given private rooms while almost $200,000 in charges were put on their credit cards during the four-month period.

Some of the victims reported waking up the next day with no memory of what happened. Prosecutors said when they tried to reverse the charges the defendants allegedly threatened to release embarrassing photos of the men.

Hunt said he believed there are more victims and more suspects involved in the illegal activity.

Pascucci's defense attorney told CBS This Morning she is not a stripper.

"This is her first arrest," he said. "She is not guilty. She's certainly on the lesser end of culpability."

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