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Past scandals remembered by woman's arrest on felony charges

New York has had its share of public officials who have been exposed and even prosecuted for entanglements with reputed prostitutes and women of questionable background. Some of the biggest stories in that respect were the scandalous reports connected to the extra-marital affairs of former Attorney General and Governor, Eliot Spitzer. The former official's name has surfaced again with the recent arrest on felony charges of a 26-year-old woman for allegedly extorting money from Spitzer by threatening to expose her relationship with him.

That Spitzer could allow himself to get involved in another sex-related scandal is in itself shocking and at the same time suggestive that his compulsive behavior may be related to a medical condition. But Spitzer is apparently involved in the woman's prosecution only as a witness and victim, and not as a wrongdoer. State law enforcement officers arrested the woman after her flight arrived at the John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The felony charges consist of multiple charges of grand larceny and forgery. The criminal complaint contains allegations that ultimately the woman extorted $400,000 in total payments from Spitzer. The two have apparently had a relationship for a few years. Spitzer did not take action until the accused person sent social media information to Spitzer's daughter, which apparently resulted in Spitzer taking the problem to law enforcement officials. She is reportedly a Russian national.

Authorities in New York reported that the woman is being investigated for prostitution and felony charges relating to money laundering issues. She is reportedly a former escort who previously had accused Spitzer of assaulting her in a hotel room. She later recanted the accusation. At this point, she is fighting for her freedom, which may be difficult to retain depending on the nature of any other investigations against her.

Source: wsj.com, "Police Arrest Woman Accused of Trying to Extort Money From Ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer", Mike Vilensky and Pervaiz Shallwani, Oct. 11, 2016

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