Preying on wolves

Ex-stripper faces sentencing for drugging Wall Street guys, maxing out credit cards

Signage pictured at the Grand Opening of Hustler Club on December 11, 2003 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Giulio Marcocchi/Getty Images)

What happens when the largesse of Wall Street collides with an enterprising group of strippers? A modern-day Robin Hood tale emerges. So goes the story recounted by New York magazine’s The Cut blog. It centers on Roselyn “Rosie” Keo who is currently facing felony charges for a scheme in which she and other former strippers would take guys out to clubs, drug them with spiked drinks, and max out their credit cards while they were blacked out. Jessica Pressler, the article’s author, points out that Rosie has a rather dicey relationship with the truth, so it’s worth taking some of the more sensational details of her account with a grain of salt — or maybe a bolder. Rosie met Samantha Barbash, one of the top moneymakers at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club, while working as a stripper at various Manhattan clubs. Samantha, 31 at the time she met Rosie, stopped dancing and began running a crew of girls who’d engage in “fishing,” picking men up and bringing them back to the clubs. It had all the makings of being club promotion, but according to Rosie, it ended up going way further.

Samantha had a secret key to success: a special drink spiked with MDMA and ketamine. She would max out her clients’ credit cards, “mostly Wall Street guys,” according to Samantha, while they were too drugged to realize what was happening. Though some of the men would try to recover their money, the burden of proof and the personal cost of filing a formal complaint meant the scheme was more or less foolproof. Rosie wanted in, and soon was co-running the organization along with Samantha, she said. They were pulling in hundreds of thousands of dollars and were running the operation like any above-board business. But after they took advantage of the wrong client, the police got involved and everything unraveled. Rosie, who’s set to be sentenced in February, now says she hopes to one day become a motivational speaker like Jordan Belfort, the banker made famous by The Wolf of Wall Street.

Read the full story at New York magazine’s The Cut.

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