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Press Release

San Diego Realtor Sentenced For Commercial Sex With 13-year-old Girl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

SAN DIEGO – San Diego realtor Michael E. Lustig was sentenced today to 10 years in federal prison for prostitution-related crimes, including his admissions that he paid for sex with a 13-year-old girl on several occasions.

Lustig, 71, was indicted by a federal grand jury in October of 2013 and pleaded guilty in July. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez.

According to court records, Lustig was first contacted in June of 2012 by San Diego Sheriff's deputies during an operation targeting customers of prostitution in the Encinitas area. At the time that Lustig was arrested, deputies seized two cellular telephones which led to information that he had been in contact with two minor females.

Interviews with the minors conducted by FBI Agents and San Diego Sheriff’s Deputies during a joint investigation revealed that Lustig had contacted them separately to engage in commercial sex activity. One of the minors was 11 years old at the time that sexual activity began with Lustig, and the other was 13 years of age. According to court records, surveillance video from a motel in El Cajon, California, showed Lustig entering a motel room with one of the minors and emerging 43 minutes later.

According to court records, Lustig had contacted the minors multiple times over a span of multiple months. Interviews with the minors confirmed that Lustig, known to them as “George,” had paid them for sexual activity and that at least one of the minors had identified herself as a minor.

In the plea agreement, Lustig admitted that he used a cellular telephone to contact the 13-year-old minor on multiple occasions between at least October 2011 and June 2012, seeking to engage in commercial sex activity. Lustig admitted that he thereafter engaged in commercial sex activity with the minor, paying the minor in return for sexual activity.

For example, according to the plea agreement, Lustig admitted that on October 15, 2011, he wrote the minor, asking, “Hey, is the bookstore open? I'm in desperate need of books rite now.” Lustig admitted in court that he was using code for commercial sex activity. On November 11, 2011, Lustig wrote the same minor, “U free sometime in the next 2 hours?” and “Any chance for library in 35 min, @ 7:15?”

Similarly, on June 8, 2012, Lustig wrote the minor simply “Bookstore?” meaning that he wanted to establish a date for commercial sex activity.

“Michael Lustig victimized the most vulnerable population in our community – children – and today he was brought to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “We will do everything in our power to protect children from predators.”

“This investigation serves as another example of how seamless law enforcement is in San Diego County when it comes to those who prey on the vulnerable," commented San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore. “We will offer any resources available to protect our children.”

“Michael Lustig, a sexual predator, is off the streets today because of the dedicated work of the San Diego law enforcement community,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge, Eric S. Birnbaum. “The FBI remains dedicated to protecting our children from sexual predators and will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to make our cities a safer place for all of our children to live and succeed.”

DEFENDANT   Case Number: 13CR3921-BEN
Michael Lustig Age: 71 Rancho Santa Fe, California

Three counts of Interstate Travel in Aid of Racketeering Enterprises, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1952(a) Maximum Penalty: Five years per count, 15 years total; 3 years supervised release.


San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Updated July 23, 2015