Samantha Barbash, 40, at center, being escorted by authorities, was allegedly the ringleader of a crew of NYC strippers who scammed wealthy men. Credit: DEA
A group of New York City strippers drugged rich men and scammed them out of tens of thousands of dollars, authorities said on Wednesday.
Four men, including a doctor and a lawyer, were targeted in the scam between September and December of last year, authorities said. The strippers allegedly spiked their drinks and drove them to strip clubs where they were too wasted to stop more than $200,000 in credit card charges, officials said.
Authorities with the Drug Enforcement Agency and NYPD arrested four women this week on charges including grand largely and assault. A strip club manager also faces charges. Samantha Barbash, 40, was identified as the alleged ringleader of the crew. Her lawyer, Stephen Murphy, said his client denies the charges.
"She's never stolen anything," Murphy said. "She's not guilty."
Officials said an undercover investigation revealed the women met the men at bars in New York area bars on the pretense of dates or trolled bars for targets. The strippers allegedly impaired them with Molly, a form of ecstasy, tranquilizers or cocaine, according to federal authorities, sometimes drugging the men without their consent.
The men were then driven to Scores on Manhattan's West Side and Roadhouse NYC Gentlemen's Club in Queens, officials said. The women allegedly took their credit cards and identification and discussed how much to charge.
Officials said the men were charged $5,000 to over $50,000, sometimes on multiple cars, for services including private rooms, meals and drinks. One victim was charged more than $100,000 over three nights, authorities said.
The men woke up in their beds with few memories of the encounters, authorities said. Those who disputed the charges were blackmailed by the strippers, who threatened to go public with what happened, officials said.
The clubs paid the women a proportionate amount based on the total amount charged, officials said, but neither faces charges. Calls to Scores and the Roadhouse were not immediately returned.
This post was updated to include comment from an attorney representing Samantha Barbash.