Illegal gambling and brothels
A former New York Police Department (NYPD) vice detective has been sentenced to prison for his role as the leader of a $2m (£1,589,472.24) a year gambling and prostitution ring in New York State. Ludwig Paz agreed to a plea deal this week to help his wife and two daughters avoid prison time. Under the deal, he was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison.
Paz and his wife Arelis Peralta pled guilty in June to operating gambling rooms inside beauty parlors and other businesses in the state. They also admitted to creating brothels in Brooklyn, Nassau, and Queens Counties. According to prosecutors, Paz recruited active-duty police officers to help his illegal businesses. The cops gave Paz a warning about potential raids and undercover stings so he could avoid getting caught.
The gambling ring ran by Paz allowed individuals to place illegal bets on legal lottery games. Establishments were set up to take the bets. The former detective also operated brothels and the two operations brought in over $2m in just over a year, according to authorities. The time period was from August 2016 until September 2017.
Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan said: “These operations are out of business now and the defendant is going to prison. We will continue to combat this kind of corruption—even when the perpetrators are those entrusted to enforce the law.”
The Internal Affairs Bureau of the NYPD has been investigating the ring since April 2015, thanks to an anonymous tip. The tipster said that both active and retired personnel were involved in illegal gambling operations and prostitution.
Paz retired in 2010, but still had connections with the police department. He used his knowledge of and insight into police operations to run the illegal businesses. After getting caught and admitting guilt, Paz decided to take a plea deal.
His wife, Arelis Peralta, faced one year in prison and his daughters would have been charged with misdemeanors based on their involvement with the businesses. During the sentencing, Paz apologized to the court, the DA’s office and the NYPD for his behavior. He also said he was sorry and asked for forgiveness from his family due to the pain and suffering that his actions had caused.