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Alleged prostitute latest to face charges from Miami Companions ring

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Detroit – from www.detnews.com — An accused $500-an-hour Miami Companions prostitute was charged today with a misdemeanor count of helping to employ illegal aliens who worked for the sex ring.

The charge comes five weeks after federal court records revealed Fabiola Contreras [pictured] was negotiating a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but it was unknown whether today’s charge is the result of those discussions.

A U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman said plea negotiations are continuing. Contreras’ lawyer could not be reached immediately for comment.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow delayed an April 18 trial date until June 20 to give Contreras and federal prosecutors more time to negotiate.

Contreras, a former prostitute from Chile known as “Antonella,” would be the fifth person charged in the case to reach a plea deal. Sex ring co-owners Greg Carr and his ex-wife, Laurie Carr, are awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to prostitution-related charges and could get up to 27 months in prison.

Greg Carr is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Contreras, a resident of Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., is charged with conspiracy to coerce and entice prostitution and is free on $10,000 unsecured bond. She faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, if convicted.

Contreras has been a legal permanent resident of the U.S. since December 2004. She joined Miami Companions in 2008 but stopped working as a Miami Companions prostitute the next year, when she started dating Greg Carr, according to prosecutors.

The Miami Companions ring was busted in Metro Detroit, where clients spent more than $167,000 for sex between March 2007 and January 2009, according to federal prosecutors.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office labeled Miami Companions one of the country’s largest escort services, dispatching dozens of prostitutes to hotels and beachfront villas around the world. And Metro Detroit was one of the busiest stops on the tour.

The ring was one of the largest in the country. Miami Companions compiled a client list numbering more than 30,000 people.

from www.freep.com – A onetime call girl who quit the business to date the boss is facing new charges in the year-old Miami Companions sex ring case: helping to employ illegal immigrants to work for the prostitution agency.

According to documents filed today in U.S. District Court, Fabiola Contreras, a former Miami Companions escort known as Antonella, was charged with a misdemeanor count of helping to hire illegal immigrants to work for the high-priced escort service that charged up to $500 an hour for sex for roughly 30,000 clients nationwide.

Contreras, who lives in Florida with Gregory Carr, the agency’s co-owner who faces sentencing Thursday, was among five people arrested last summer when federal agents busted the agency in metro Detroit. She was charged with conspiracy to coerce and entice prostitution and faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, if convicted.

Court records show that Contreras, who faces a June 20 trial date, is negotiating a plea deal on the enticement charge. A U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman said plea negotiations are continuing. Her lawyer, Francisco Villarruel, was not available for comment.

According to court records, Contreras took a job at Miami Companions in 2008 but stopped working as an escort when she started dating Carr, who cofounded the agency and ran it for years with his now-ex-wife Laurie Carr.

Gregory Carr, 44, a Dearborn Heights native who now lives in Florida, pleaded guilty in March to running the high-priced escort service and money laundering. He will be sentenced Thursday in federal court in Detroit.

The government is pushing for a 27-month prison sentence, but Carr’s lawyer, Paul DeCailly, is asking for probation, arguing that his client never coerced or forced anyone into engaging in prostitution, but that the women did so willingly.

To bolster his complaint, DeCailly in the last week has submitted several letters to the court from former Miami Companions escorts who say Carr is a good guy who deserves leniency. Two more such letters were filed today.

“When choosing to work in the industry I did plenty of research and found his agency,” wrote Kristi Green, a former Miami Companions escort, who said Carr’s agency came “highly recommended” from friends. “I gave him a call and met with him. Wow! I was so impressed by him as a person. So I chose to work with him.”

Her letter continued: “ By doing this, I took care of my expenses – travel, hotels, advertising, etc. he provided me with a safe and secure notion that the clients were well screened and I had someone to answer the calls and set appointments … I knew that I was safe in my chosen lifestyle.”

Danielle Kjos, another Miami Companions escort, echoed those sentiments, writing:

“It is my opinion that he ran the best screening and call center for women in my line of work in the country,” Kjos wrote. “I can tell you that I was never coerced or enticed to commit prostitution by this man or his company. What I chose to do or not to do with my clients was entirely my decision and private business … I was always safe with my clients.”

Meanwhile, Laurie Carr, who cut a deal with the government and is awaiting sentencing, is facing 12 months in prison.

Both Carrs pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to persuade or entice someone to engage in prostitution.

To date, the case has netted four guilty pleas, including one from Nayubet Swaso, a former porn star and call girl who was the operations manager at call centers in Panama and Costa Rica. On May 10, Swaso became the first defendant in the case to be sentenced.

U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Tarnow concluded that prison was not the right place for Swaso, who had twice been abandoned as a child, and he gave her two years of supervised release instead.

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