An Israeli man, Itzhak Cohen, and a Colorado woman, Tracy Reynolds, were arrested by federal authorities and are charged with laundering millions of dollars from a prostitution operation that has been running for years, the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said in a statement.
The two started their VIP Escorts enterprise, an online nationwide multimillion-dollar business offering prostitution services, in 2012.
As part of their business, the pair arranged for prostitutes to meet clients in New York, and other locations, to offer their services, charging thousands of dollars.
Cohen and Reynolds "required escorts to deposit the proceeds of their commercial sex acts into a large number of bank accounts that they controlled, many of them in the name of fake entities," the statement said.
Over $10 million was allegedly laundered through those accounts controlled by Reynolds, and more than $1 million was sent from Reynolds to Cohen in Israel in small amounts to hide the money.
The two "then used the proceeds of the prostitution scheme for personal gain and to further their illegal prostitution business," added the press release.
Cohen was arrested in Hadera, and US prosecutors will seek his extradition to stand trial in the United States.
Reynolds and Cohen are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and two counts of money laundering. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if they are convicted.Geoffrey S. Berman, the US attorney for the southern district of New York, expressed thanks to the Israel Police and Justice Ministry for their support and assistance with the investigation and arresting Cohen.