Emperors Club VIP
|Fate||Cease and desist of a criminal enterprise|
|Defunct||March 11, 2008|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Mark Brener; Cecil Suwal; Temeka Rachelle Lewis; Tanya Hollander.|
|Products||Escorts, Dating, prostitutes|
Emperors Club VIP was an international escort agency based in New York City, founded in 2004 by Mark Brener and Cecil Suwal and operated from the bank accounts of QAT Consulting Group, Inc., and QAT International, Inc. The agency was shut down in March 2008 following a federal investigation into suspicious money transfers from New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, which led to the discovery of its operation as an illegal prostitution ring. Following public reports of Governor Spitzer's patronage as client #9, he resigned from office.
Emperors Club VIP offered, via their internet website, the services of fifty escorts rated on a scale from three to seven diamonds for appointments in New York, Washington, Miami, London and Paris, with fees commensurate with their rating. Appointments could be made by telephone or online with fees from US$ 1,000 to US$ 5,500 per hour, payable by cash, credit card, money order or wire transfer. A top-rated seven-diamond model could cost as much as US$ 31,000 per day.
During a federal investigation, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was identified as having procured services in excess of US$80,000 from Emperors Club VIP over a period of two years. After campaigning on promises of ethics and integrity, and himself having prosecuted prostitution rings in his career, Spitzer was forced to resign as Governor amid charges of hypocrisy, and threats of impeachment.
The United Kingdom's then 3rd wealthiest man, the Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster, was alleged by former Emperors Club VIP escort Zana Brazdek to have engaged her services through the company. Attorneys responding on his behalf hold that the Duke was not in London on the dates she reports.
- United States of America v. Mark Brener, et al.', Sealed Complaint, Count 2: para 8a-f, pg. 6-7 (United States District Court Southern Court of New York, 5 March 2008).
- William K. Rashbaum (2008-03-11). "Revelations Began in Routine Tax Inquiry". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
- United States of America v. Mark Brener, et al.', Affidavit in Support of Application for Arrest Warrants, Search Warrants and Seizure Warrants, Section II: The Emperors Club's Prostitution Crimes: Payment, para g 36-37, pg 17 (United States District Court Southern Court of New York, 5 March 2008).
- HuffPost (10 March 2008). "Emperors Club: All About Eliot Spitzer's Alleged Prostitution Ring". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
- "Operators of "Escort Services" Indicted: Authorities Say the Business Was a Front for a Massive Prostitution Ring" (Press release). Office of the New York State Attorney General. 2004-04-07. Archived from the original on 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
- "Deadline: Republicans Threaten Impeachment". WCBS-TV. 12 March 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-06-11. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
- Bovzar, Chris; Pressler, Jessica (2008-03-10). "Report: Governor Spitzer Involved With 'Prostitution Ring'". New York Magazine.
- Rashbaum, William K (2004-04-08). "18 Arrested in Lucrative Prostitution Ring out of Staten Island". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2008-03-12.
- Larry McShane (12 March 2008). "Duke Of Westminster: Prostitution Client, Allegedly, of Emperors Club VIP". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
- Pareene (13 March 2008). "England's Dreaming: Richest Man in Britain Threatens Every Paper in the Nation". Gawker. Archived from the original on 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2008-03-17.