Two Russians, a woman and her husband, have been arrested and charged with third-degree counts of promoting prostitution. The scheme was allegedly being remotely done from the pair’s condo at Trump Towers III in Miami. The crime is not connected to Donald Trump, and no prostitute actually set foot in the Trump Towers during the operation.
Both Khodukina and Yevgen Rizanov, 29-years-old, were using a salon service called Beauty by Ksenia as a front for their “sophisticated long-term operation promoting prostitution.” The website for the sex operation was called “Russian Dolls.” Assistant Manhattan District Attorney James Lynch added that the couple “split the money with the women, but dictated the percentage they could keep,” according to Miami New Times.
The operation involved flying Russian women into New York. A third Russian, Arkady Bashkatov, was then in charge of housing the sex workers, booking hotel rooms, and hiring drivers.
Charges detail that the prostitution ring was in operation from June, 2015, to June, 2018. Their crime came to light after some of their “Russian Doll” sex workers were arrested and confessed to being part of the ring. The couple was arrested on July 11 at Sunny Isles Beach.
Khodukina is a licensed aesthetician, while Rizanov is a freelance web designer for Google, detailed the Daily Mail.
The couple’s lawyer has said that they deny all allegations, and have asked that Khodukina be released without bail since their two kids are due to return to America after visiting grandparents abroad. Regardless, the judge has said that Khodukina to be held on $50,000 bond, while Rizanov is being held on $100,000 bond.
The area of town where Trump Towers III resides is reportedly a known stomping ground for Russian immigrants, and is sometimes referred to as “Little Moscow.”
And it’s common for Russian women to make the trip to America to have a baby, because it gives the child a U.S. passport. NBC News said that some of these women actually flock to Trump Towers in Miami, who sublease them from the original owners. Roman Bokeria, state director of the Florida Association of Realtors, explained why the pregnant Russian women choose Miami.
“Sunny Isles beach has a nickname — Little Russia — because people who are moving from Russian-speaking countries to America, they want … a familiar environment…. They go across the street, they have Russian market, Russian doctor, Russian lawyer. It’s very comfortable for them.”
One pregnant woman, who made the trip to Miami, said she paid $50,000 for the trip. Miami Mama, a company that offers travel services for pregnant Russians, said that they serve around 100 clients every year.