Former NYPD cop who led gambling, prostitution ring gets 12 years

Ludwig Paz, a retired NYPD detective who pleaded guilty to attempted enterprise corruption for running brothels, was sentenced to up to 12 years in prison on Tuesday.

What We Know:

  • Paz operated a string of brothels in Queens, Brooklyn and Hempstead, according to Acting District Attorney John Ryan. He also ran illegal gambling operations in beauty salons and other places throughout the city. He pleaded guilty in May to two counts of attempted enterprise corruption and one count of promoting prostitution, according to NBC New York.
  • The prostitution ring brought in over $2 million in just over a year, after using online advertisements to attract more customers. After a screening process, clients paid up to $40 for 15 minutes of sex with a prostitute of their choice or up to $160 for an hour, according to the indictment.
  • Paz used his knowledge of the system to set up protocols to catch undercover officers. Knowing that an officer could not expose their genitals when interacting with prostitutes, new clients were required to undress and allow themselves to be fondled before getting past security, the release stated.
  • Allegedly, the entire ring included seven active duty NYPD officers and almost three dozen civilians. Rene Samaniego, one of the cops involved, pleaded guilty in May to charges that came from his involvement.
  • Assistant District Attorney Bradley Chain explained that Paz took a deal in exchange for a 364 day sentence for his wife and misdemeanor counts with conditional discharges for his daughters over their roles in the family business. Paz’s wife Arelis “Maria” Peralta also pleaded guilty in May and was released May 21 on a sentence of time served as part of the deal, according to New York Daily News.

Prosecutors said a tip from an officer about a gambling and prostitution ring within the department in 2015 prompted the investigation. Investigators used wiretaps and surveillance to gather who all was involved in the operation.