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Elite Escort Services Owner Convicted of Pimping

INDIO — from – A man who ran a multi-state prostitution and money laundering operation based in Palm Springs was convicted Thursday of conspiracy and pimping, but acquitted of pandering.

Ofer Moses Lupovitz, 49, co-owned Elite escort service, which employed as many as 200 women who provided sex for money throughout California, Arizona and Oregon from 2002 to 2006, prosecutors said.

He was charged with 180 felony counts ranging from money laundering to tax evasion stemming from the alleged call-girl operation that authorities dismantled in 2006.

He was tried only on charges of conspiracy and pimping and pandering, with the other charges on hold pending the outcome of the case.

In court Thursday, attorneys discussed a possible plea agreement for most of the remaining charges.

As the verdict was read, Lupovitz leaned forward but remained stoic.

Riverside Superior Court Judge David B. Downing A sentencing date has yet to be set.

Throughout the month- long trial the prosecution contended the escort service was a front for the prostitution ring.

“At the end of the day, when all the pretense is stripped away the business the defendant engaged in is not an escort business, it is a business for prostitution,” Supervising Deputy District Attorney Deborah Lucky said.

The women who worked for Elite knew working for the company involved selling sex, she said.

“They were not tied up and forced … but once they got involved in the business there was psychological and financial pressure,” she said.

During trial, one witness testified she told one of the men operating the business that a client asked her to perform a sex act, and he responded, “Why did you think you were hired?”

Because Elite took cuts of the women’s earnings, “this was a business in which people could not make money unless they did acts of prostitution,” Lucky said.

She said Lupovitz and co-owner Boaz Benmoshe, currently a fugitive, did not send women to hotels where police had been seen.


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