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Monday Story of the Day Replay: Nici’s Girls Owner Michelle Braun to Cooperate Fully with the Feds

From Hollywood, sports and business celebs have reason to sweat now that top madam Michelle Braun has cut a sweet plea deal with the feds.

Mickey Rourke, Charlie Sheen, Jose Canseco, Courtney Love and several Playmates are among those whose names have turned up in records provided to authorities — though none of them has been accused of any wrongdoing.

Braun, aka “Nici,” is due to be arraigned Monday in federal court in Santa Ana, Calif., as part of an agreement to “cooperate fully” with all branches of law enforcement.

The thirtysomething mother of two is alleged to have taken the escort business to new levels of profitability by introducing the most desirable Playmates, Pets and porn stars to men who didn’t blink at paying $500,000 for a “girlfriend.” But, after an impressive 15-year run (she always paid her taxes), Braun slipped up in October 2007, when an FBI agent posing as a “Platinum Club member” lured her into violating the Mann Act by transporting a woman — identified in court papers as “J.C.” — from California to New York City. (That’s Braun’s mug shot above.)

Investigators obtained evidence from private investigator Dan Hanks, who got to know Braun while working for “Fox Undercover.” “Michelle would ask me to do background checks on potential clients and girls, which I did in order to find out more about her,” Hanks tells us.

“I don’t know that Mickey Rourke was a client,” says Hanks. “Michelle may have just wanted him as one.”

Sheen once gave Braun a $20,000 check for an evening with four girls, Braun alleged in Rolling Stone. “I once saw a very expensive painting at her condo,” recalls Hanks. “She said, ‘That’s a gift from Charlie Sheen.’”

Hanks says a former Nici girl told him she turned down a job to join Courtney Love and her boyfriend for a threesome. (Love’s rep had no immediate comment.)

Braun also requested information on former Yankee Canseco, says Hanks. “I’ve heard of her,” the steroid-stained ballplayer tells us. “But I’ve never paid for sex in my life. She might have been trying to recruit me.”

Another alleged client was Jeff Kwatinetz, who managed the Backstreet Boys and Kelly Clarkson when he ran The Firm. On Feb. 11, 1999, Kwatinetz wrote a check for $6,000 for a coke-fueled three-way with two of Nici’s girls, according to Hanks. (“Six Degrees of Paris Hilton” author Mark Ebner posts the check on “The alleged incident happened a decade ago,” argues a friend of Kwatinetz. “Jeff has been sober since then and has not participated in that lifestyle.”

Other alleged Braun clients included Turkish cell phone billionaire Hakan Uzan, hedge fund manager Mark Yagalla and mortgage brokerage tycoon Michael Fanghella, according to court records and published reports.

Last year, the government alleged that Braun made at least $8.5 million from her Miami and L.A. agencies. So she appears to be getting off fairly lightly — forfeiting just $325,425, paying a $30,000 fine and spending six months under house arrest.

But feds apparently think the information on her Macbook, iPhone and T-Mobile Sidekick are worth plenty.

Says Ebner, “The things she knows make Heidi Fleiss look like Mary Poppins.”


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