Trial begins in South Beach 'B-Girl' fraud scheme
Trial begins in South Beach 'B-Girl' fraud scheme aimed at fleecing wealthy male tourists
Trial has begun in South Florida for five men with alleged ties to the Russian mob who are accused of running a fraud scheme involving so-called "B-Girls" who allegedly fleeced wealthy male tourists.
Jury selection began Tuesday in Miami federal court in the case. The Miami Herald reports that some of the 10 women previously convicted for their roles are expected to testify for the prosecution.
The man prosecutors say was the ringleader, 45-year-old Alec Smichuk of Latvia, also pleaded guilty and is expected to be a government witness in the six-week trial.
Prosecutors say women were brought from Russia and Eastern Europe to lure male tourists to supposedly exclusive clubs and give them alcoholic drinks. The men were charged exorbitant amounts, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars.
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