A woman who ran a phony reflexology business that lured men into thinking they could pay for sex was sent to prison Friday, while a bouncer and three women who worked for her were given probation.
Gia Buford, whom prosecutors accused of laying out the plans for Club Exclusive II, was ordered to serve between five and 12-and-a-half years in prison.
The 48-year-old was convicted in April on 16 felonies, including racketeering and theft, along with Brittani Lampkin, 27, Jamison Ahearn, 44, Nicole Seaton, 24, James Balgas, 46, and Jennifer Munoz, 26.
After sending Buford to prison, District Judge David Barker sentenced Lampkin, Seaton, Munoz and Balgas to five years of probation, provided they spend the first six months of their suspended prison sentences in the Clark County Detention Center. Ahearn is slated for sentencing next week.
Prosecutor Jake Villani said the club was nothing but a rouse, designed to bilk men looking for sexual gratification out of hundreds of dollars at a time. Buford and the others used reflexology treatment as a front for the scam.
In operation for nearly four years, the club at South Polaris Avenue near Spring Mountain Road offered kickbacks to cab drivers who took passengers looking for sex to Club Exclusive II, with promises of “hot showers,” “hot girls,” and “one-on-one time,” Villani said.
Once they paid the entrance fee, men were encouraged to fork over more money, as women suggested they would offer sex. When the men realized they were being duped and got nothing for their money, bouncers would shoo them out the backdoor and into a waiting cab.
The club pulled in at least $130,000 a month in credit card sales, along with cash transactions, according to the prosecutor.
“There was nothing legitimate about this business,” Villani said.
He called Buford “the principal of the operation.”
She ran staff meetings, told girls what to wear and how to act with clients.
Six others took plea deals in the case, including Roberta Gutierrez, Leah Montes, Danielle Martin, Cynthia Barragan, Jamie Seaton and the owner of Club Exclusive II, James Buford, Gia Buford’s husband.
They agreed to testify against their co-defendants in exchange for lesser charges.
Villani said, “We are aware of other establishments operating in this manner,” but declined to comment further on pending investigations.
Contact reporter David Ferrara at 702-380-1039 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter: @randompoker.