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Elite Palm Springs prostitution ring trial wrapping up

Palm Springs – from – Closing arguments are scheduled for today in the trial of a man accused of running an interstate prostitution ring based in Palm Springs.

Ofer Moses Lupovitz, 48, is charged with 180 felony counts ranging from money-laundering to tax evasion stemming from a call girl operation that authorities dismantled in 2006. Lupovitz is currently being tried on charges of conspiracy and pimping and pandering only, with the other charges on hold pending the outcome of the case.

Closing arguments will cap almost a month of testimony, mostly prosecution witnesses. The prosecution rested its case Tuesday morning, and the defense called a witness before proceedings adjourned for the day. The trial started Sept. 20.

Lupovitz, who is free on bail, was indicted with six others, three of whom have been convicted. The other three fled.

Lupovitz’s wife, Gabrell Lukow, pleaded guilty, along with two other women, Stephanie Michelle Vintrov and Melanie Smith.

The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office alleges Lupovitz and fellow Israeli national Boaz Benmoshe — one of the fugitives — ran the Elite escort service from 2002 to 2006, at one time employing as many as 200 women who provided sex for money throughout California, Arizona and Oregon, according to prosecutors.


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