News and Press Releases

OWNERS OF BROWARD COUNTY ESCORT SERVICE SENTENCED FOR CONSPIRACY AND PREPARING FALSE INCOME TAX RETURN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2010

Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Daniel W. Auer, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, announced yesterday’s sentencing of defendants Douglas J. Ketcher, a/k/a Brian Davis, 37, formerly of Broward County, now of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and Christina L. Wypych, a/k/a Danyella Valentine, 29, of Broward County. United States District Judge Marcia Cooke sentenced Ketcher to 23 months imprisonment and defendant Wypych to 22 months imprisonment. In addition, the court ordered a money judgment in the amount of $1,001,086 in forfeiture payable to the government by both defendants.

Ketcher and Wypth previously pled guilty to engaging in a multi-object conspiracy to: (1) promote prostitution through the use of interstate wire and radio communications; (2) entice interstate travel to commit prostitution acts; and to (3) impede the Internal Revenue Service in the collection of income taxes, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. The defendants also pled guilty to assisting in the preparation of a false 2004 corporate income tax return.

On April 23, 2009, a 58-count Indictment charged Ketcher and Wypych with operating a prostitution ring, money laundering, and tax fraud. According to the Indictment and court documents, Ketcher was the president, director and sole shareholder of BDDV Associates, Inc, (“BDDV”), d/b/a “Sweeties,” located in Oakland Park, FL. Defendant Wypych was the vice-president and director of BDDV.

From approximately July 2, 2002 through approximately February 2007, Ketcher and Wypych ran a prostitution business in Broward County and in other states. The defendants advertised their prostitution business as the escort service Sweeties. Ketcher and Wypych maintained “Sweeties.us,” an adult Internet website, and placed ads in local newspapers to solicit the hiring of “models” and “phone operators.” Ketcher and Wypych personally interviewed and hired prospective escorts and telephone operators who responded to the ads. During the interviews, Ketcher and Wypych advised the escorts to adopt “stage names” for use while working for Sweeties.

According to court documents and in-court statements, prospective customers would call Sweeties to schedule an appointment with the escort, ranging from $250 to $400 per hour. Appointments could be scheduled locally, at a pre-designated hotel, or at a location requested by the customer, including locations outside of Florida. Ketcher and Wypych caused at least 120 escorts to take more than 800 trips out-of-state for the purpose of engaging in acts of prostitution. Ketcher and Wypych enticed escorts to travel to cities outside of Florida to engage in acts of prostitution by promising them large cash rewards, advertising and arranging the escorts’ travels, agreeing to pay half of the expenses of the escorts’ trips (airfare and hotel), and other incentives.

During the plea hearings, Ketcher and Wypych admitted that they impeded the IRS by hiding cash profits, paying employees in unreported cash, and by overstating business travel deductions.

Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Behnke of the Fort Lauderdale Office and Trial Attorney Gregory Tortella of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division, Washington, DC.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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