Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 13, 2006
BOCA RATON — Undercover police raided a home in the gated Broken Sound community Thursday and accused the homeowner of being a kingpin in the sex-for-sale trade who operated a multimillion-dollar prostitution ring from his home.
Detectives said David Bachmann had 23 women actively working for his escort service, and in recent years he employed as many as 500 women who plied his trade throughout Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
o was arrested Thursday at her Mizner Court apartment.
Detectives said the escort service accounted for nearly 7,000 liaisons a year. Bachmann spent more than $40,000 annually advertising his business under the names Centerfolds, The Butt Man, Florida's Finest and Unique Escorts in adult magazines, the phone book, local newspapers and Web sites.
Bachmann had 100-plus phone numbers to serve his clients. And he did business under more than 40 fictitious names, according to the state Division of Corporations.
"He was a major player," an undercover vice sergeant said. "This is taking away a large percentage of prostitution in south Palm Beach County."
Bachmann, 41, and his estranged wife, 42, were charged with operating a business of prostitution, deriving support from prostitution and 11 counts of money laundering. They were being held in the Palm Beach County Jail.
David Bachmann's attorney, Sid Fleischman, said his client will "vigorously fight the trumped-up" charges.
"Escort services are legal businesses that are licensed in cities and counties throughout South Florida," Fleischman said. "He's innocent."
An anonymous letter to detectives sparked a three-year investigation by the Boca Raton police into the Bachmanns' alleged criminal enterprise. Through undercover operations, the seizure of David Bachmann's computers in 2004 and talks with current and former employees and a longtime customer, detectives said they learned of an intricate operation dating back to the early 1990s.
Customers paid a minimum of $180 for "dates" with the women, depending on the number of escorts they wanted, the amount of time the women spent with them and the sexual acts that were performed, according to an arrest report. The Bachmanns took half of the money each woman was paid.
Michelle Bachmann recruited the women, interviewing them in her Mercedes-Benz at a Boca Raton gas station. She had the women sign a contract that they were of legal age and acknowledge that they would be having sex for money but to "let the customers make the first move," according to the report.
In September 2004, undercover detectives hired one of David Bachmann's escorts to come to a Boca Raton hotel, where she offered to perform a sexual act for money, according to the report. Following her arrest on charges of prostitution and possession of cocaine, the woman told detectives that when she was hired, Bachmann told her she would be having sex for money.
The woman also said Bachmann paid her $600 to have sex with him at his Broken Sound home so he could "test her out," according to the report.
Detectives also questioned the woman's driver, who said that in one year, he had driven escorts to more than 2,000 calls. He said it was his job to collect cash or credit card payments upfront from each customer, pay the girl her share at the end of the night, then deliver the money and receipts to Bachmann's home, the report stated.
15 yr old
Another escort, who also was charged with cocaine possession, told police that she had stopped working for Bachmann when she arrived at a call in Miami and the customer was a 15-year-old boy.
Detectives on Thursday seized $140,000 in cash from Bachmann's home and bank accounts, as well as computers, video cameras and carloads of records, an undercover vice sergeant said.
"We had to build up enough evidence to prove he knew that these girls were performing sex for money," the sergeant said. "This shows, again, that no matter how long it takes, we will come up with permanent solutions to solve the problem and shut them down."
In March 2005, following a 2 1/2-year investigation, Boca Raton police shut down a North Dixie Highway brothel and seized $342,639 from the madam's bank accounts. Nahir Romero, whose Dreamescape bordello brought in $15,000 to $20,000 a month, was sentenced in September to a year in jail, followed by two years of house arrest and seven years of probation.
Jacqueline Kaplan, a director of the 107-home Laurel Pointe Property Owners Association in Broken Sound, said Bachmann was a homeowner there for at least 13 years.
"He was an occasionally annoying person," she said, "but I never had any inkling of this little hobby of his."
Staff writer Eliot Kleinberg and staff researchers Krista Pegnetter and Michelle Quigley contributed to this story.
Palm Beach Polo
Photo courtesy of Sutka Productions International
You never know who might show up at the Vatican. Party
planner extraordinaire Bruce Sutka and sidekick David Negri had an
audience with Pope John Paul II recently. Bruce's company, Sutka
Productions International, was responsible for the decor at Denim & Diamonds …
and if you remember when the Limelight in New York opened, Bruce had a large
hand in that too. Do we think he is planning an enormous event along those lines
for the Pope?
As you might expect, everyone had a great time at the Mike McCormick/Tracy Fenney June wedding in Texas. It sure took them a long time – 15 years to be exact. Mike tells us he finally worked the wedding into his schedule when USEF gave him “some time off from horse showing.” And we all know what that means. (Here’s a little trip down ‘Hildy’s Memory Lane’ – Remember when Mike hailed from Roswell, New Mexico, and worked for Punch and Susan Jones? He even made the trip to Gladstone in 1965 and gave the Three Day team a shot!)
Natalie Cole will be on hand to sing the National
Anthem this year in Florida. Now, which event and when is yet to be determined.
We can thank Star Jones of ABC’s The View who is lining up
celebrities for all the Sunday events in Wellington this year. Star is a huge
equestrian supporter and thrilled to be asked to help promote the equestrian
Did you ever go to the American Horse Shows Association headquarters in New York and catch that tall blonde Carson Kressley bouncing around the offices? He was there handling the saddlehorse department in the days when Jane Clark was president of the organization. The star of Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was in Wellington recently filming promotional pieces for Shetlands and miniatures. What a nice boost for enthusiasts of those breeds.
Yet another celebrity has hit the East Coast horse show scene … Paula Zahn, CNN news anchor, is now one of those ‘VIP Horse Show Moms’ rooting for her daughter in every class. CNN has quite the presence at shows with Lou Dobbs and Paula ringside.
And speaking of celebrities, Glenn Close is now a property owner in Wellington.
Also new to Wellington … (is the Polo Club ready?) John Aquallina (a.k.a. "Frick") purchased property in the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club. Frick has been a popular addition to the horse show scene for years. He is a party animal and life should be very interesting this season in Wellington with the addition of John to the community.
Planning to party every night in Wellington (at least at The National) … Betty Jane Henry. Ask octogenarian Betty about her long overdue appointment to the Board of Directors of the National Horse Show Association of America – she is very appreciative of this acknowledgement and is bursting at the seams with ideas for the National Horse Shows.
Speaking of horse shows … sounds like the Lake Placid Horse Shows have run out of room. Everyone was talking about the amount of horses the first week. One of our horse show eavesdroppers heard Richard Feldman talking about buying three-quarters of an acre adjacent to the grounds to add another ring. Another ring? Do we really think that is the answer! Maybe a few less horses would make the days a little shorter and keep the exhibitors happier.
I know there are plenty of wonderful homes and boathouses on Lake Placid but you can't really get a good look at them unless you are in a boat. What horse person travels to that show with a boat? Not many! But I know one exhibitor and his father, who, as they put it, ‘borrowed’ a boat and took a big tour. Now this takes some guts to walk down to the marina and help yourself to a small outboard to go for a joyride. Lucky they got away with it.
Seems there was some under-age imbibing going on at Lake Placid. We hear one very high profile celebrity's daughter got nailed for under-age drinking and found herself spending the night in a hospital. Ouch. Oh, well – kids will be kids!
One big barn cleaned house at Spruce Meadows. Seems that all the help got the ‘boot’ right in the middle of showing. Can you imagine having a string of really topnotch horses and customers and letting all your help go? Pretty radical, don’t you think.
Oh my, can you imagine being one of the top hunter equitation trainers in the country and having your daughter get a dressing down from another top professional. Now if you think you are going to keep peace on the show grounds, I don't think this is the way to do it. I am afraid we may see some serious sparks from this very large and uncalled-for altercation. Thank goodness these professionals don't show at the same place very often, but just wait until they all turn up at the indoors. Ouch!
Alison Firestone will take Chris Kappler's place on the team at Aachen this week. Chris and his Olympic mount Royal Kaliber will sit this one out while resting for what we hope will be a medal performance in Athens.
It is finally official – Ian Millar will represent Canada at the upcoming Olympic Games. The Canadian selectors had a tough time making the decision between Mac Cone and Ian, but Ian will get the trip. This makes Ian's ninth Olympic Games – a record for any athlete!
I have high hopes that we will get all the information from the US media in Greece. Very few equestrian credentials have been issued for the Olympic Games, so John Strassburger, Charles Mann, Nancy Jaffer, Diana DeRosa, Brian Sosby, and Sara Cavanaugh – it is all up to you guys to keep us in the loop. Of course, Hildy will be at ringside during the dressage!
And speaking of media, there are so many great things happening with the equestrian press these days. Sandy Oliynyk, longtime editor of Dressage Today is now also at the helm of Practical Horseman. Vicky Moon is the new Ingate columnist for Sidelines (Vicky is the author of A Sunday Horse – a good read if you have about 10 minutes to flip through the photos). And hats off to the ‘new’ Show Circuit – in the drivers’ seats are Publisher Jami Heidigger and Editor Jill Brooke. That one’s become the industry’s Town & Country, for sure.
PS – There is a nasty little rumor going around in the stabling area at many of the shows about a major equestrian publication being for sale. I can tell you, after consulting with the principals in question – this is NOT true.
Now, if you wonder why Mason Phelps hasn't been seen around the show
circuit this season … well, take a look. Commodore Phelps is busy organizing a
sailing regatta on the Great Lakes in August.
And by the way, in the ever-expanding world of Phelps Media Group, Inc. – Whitney Tower and Hallie McEvoy have joined the staff. We hear that several important freelance writers are coming onboard as well. We’re told there will be a PMG website this fall.
Gaby Salick is doing a really great job of getting the message out for the West Coast Active Riders Association. Her reports have been great and she is a huge asset to that organization. She is so positive about the sport. There is nobody nicer than Gaby and she is a great ambassador for show jumping.
Remember Lindsay Aversano? She was a top junior rider out of the Topping Riding Club in the Hamptons. Lindsay has now moved on to marketing director of Palm Beach Illustrated and doing a great job. Looks like another media outlet for the equestrian community.
And guys, snag a copy of Teen Vogue! There is a spread on Paige Johnson. She photographs beautifully – see for yourself.
By the way, it looks like the "Nag Mag Wars" are starting to heat up for next season. What does that mean, you say? Just wait and see what happens when publishers start jockeying for position and distribution placement on the show grounds around the US. Oh, this is going to be good!
We hear there is a ‘refurbishing committee’ being established to preserve the USET Foundation headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey. It is a great old facility with tons of history – if the walls could only talk! Hildy could tell you stories from the old days that would really surprise you … but not in this column! Jane and Dick Brown are making this one of their many missions and we know what happens when the Browns take on a task. It will be done, and first rate.
Speaking of the facility in Gladstone, here’s another little jaunt down ‘Hildy’s Memory Lane’ – ask the three boys from the late 60s about the weather vanes, the jumping competitions in the middle of the night, dancing on the glass in the trophy room, joyriding over all those beautiful fields in an old Studebaker – to mention just a few things. And to answer your question, yes they were caught more often than they care to admit.
Oh my, that team for the upcoming Samsung Tour is in a state of turmoil. For many reasons, quite a few of the proposed team members have dropped out causing the Selection Committee to dig deep on the computer list. This is a tough year for our jumping teams and the chaos seems to continue. Everyone needs to just sit tight, get the Olympics behind us, and work on reorganizing.
Three cheers for David O’Connor’s election to another term of office as President of the United States Equestrian Federation. Now we have a horseman in the driver’s seat for the next quadrennial … smart move on the part of the board of USEF.
Gary Baker and his band of followers known as National Hunter Jumper Association made a bid to become the hunter-jumper affiliate for USEF. I guess it was not to be as the board voted 21-2 to elect the United States Hunter Jumper Association to that position. Bill Moroney heads up USHJA. He has done his homework and is working very hard in the interest of the business.
Where will she end up next? Wonderful Sue Pinckney has left the Federation. Will she end up in Florida this winter … maybe! She has her search engines working and I am sure she will land some work in the equestrian world somewhere. Sue changes addresses so often you might do well to put her address and phone number in pencil in your phonebook.
Nona Garson and George D'Ambrosio tell us they will be back with their sport horse auction in 2005 and are busy selecting horses. This event was wildly successful last year. Slated for an evening event during the third week of January in Wellington, Florida, the 2005 auction promises to be even bigger and better.
Tickets are now on sale for the 2005 World Cup Finals in Las Vegas next April. With the addition of dressage to this event, the Thomas & Mack Arena is going to be packed. Don't delay – the VIP tickets are selling fast. Log on to their web site and have at it. www.worldcuplasvegas.com
There are no two nicer people in the horse show business than Jane and Andy Ebelhare. If you know Andy, he is a very adventuresome sort. Recently he and Jane took a road trip from their home in Fort Collins through Grandby, Colorado. They happened upon a dozen police cars in a parking lot. Of course, Andy had to stop and check out the situation. Well, the Ebelhares found themselves in the middle of gunfire aimed at a maniac driving a rebuilt bulletproof tractor who was demolishing buildings. To Andy’s great dismay, the police chased him out – he wanted to stay and see how the entire fiasco unfolded! Jane on the other hand, couldn't wait to bolt. Remember when Palm Beach Polo and Country Club first opened the doors. Jane was the Equestrian Director and operated the Show Barn under Bill Ylvisaker's reign.
GIANT FROSTBITE’S POLO SCENE - mailto: GiantFrostbite@aol.com
Bill Ylvisaker, founder of Palm Beach Polo & Country Club, suffered severe head trauma during a fall while playing basketball with his daughter Beth and her children on June 6 in Chicago. Bill has been improving but is still in a hospital overlooking Lake Michigan. According to a family member, the doctors believe he will fully recover. We wish Bill a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him soon.
The New Bridge Club in Aiken, led by Russ McCall and Matias Magrini, won the bid for the prestigious 2005 USPA Gold Cup. Reportedly, it seems nobody from Peter Brant’s Greenwich Club, where it has been held, bothered to show up to let the USPA know they still wanted it. Games will also be held at the Langdon Club, co-owned by Owen Rinehart and Adam Snow.
It’s good to see patron Billy Busch back in the saddle. Billy played for his Bud Light team this summer in Nashville and won the 16-goal Susie Fagan Memorial Tournament. Busch also sponsors a 22-goal team in Boca but does not play because of family and work commitments.
Congratulations to Peter Rizzo on being named the USPA Executive Director. But how will he have enough time for all his other enterprises, including running the Boca Club and a monthly magazine?
John Goodman’s International Polo Club Palm Beach is already planning to expand in time for the 2005 season. They are adding two new fields on the west side of Tim Gannon’s Outback Polo Club and 36 new boxes at midfield. After a wildly successful inaugural season, the club is hosting the US Open in 2005 and 2006.
FUMELLA FROSTBITE’S DRESSAGE – mailto: FumellaFrostbite@aol.com
Terry Gallo, Mary Ross, Beth Zimski
Photo by Janis Bucher
Mary Ross is at it again with a
dressage event that tops all her previous successes. For her 2005 Breast Cancer
Research Foundation Fundraiser, Ms. Ross has gone to an international team
format called “Challenge of the Americas.” Only top international dressage
riders who have represented their country in FEI competition will be invited to
compete. The purse will be $70,000! The US team will feature the same riders who
performed the Rock ‘N’ Roll Musical Quadrille (choreographed by Beth Zimski
with music track created by Terry Gallo) at the Nations’ Cup in Palm
Beach last year – Betsy Steiner, George Williams, Lynda Alicki, Pam Goodrich,
and Bent Jensen. They may need one new team mate as Patrick Burssens
will instead be on the Mexican team. The event is tentatively scheduled for
March 12 at International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida, with a
gala black tie dinner.
Elma Garcia, USET Foundation’s Maureen
Pethick, Debbie McDonald, Linda Edwards, and Melanie Cornwell
Photo by Tish Quirk
Can you imagine raising over $400,000 in one
night? Dick and Jane Brown organized the party – Celebrate With The
Champions as a benefit for USET Foundation, which packed in over 500 guests
during the Selection Trials – and Debbie McDonald offered a training
package for auction. Hats off to Debbie and her sponsors Peggy and Parry
Thomas and daughter Jane Thomas – they tripled the package of a
month’s training, board, and condo when three very committed California riders
each bid $80,000 – all got the trip and the USETF got $240,000! Off to train
with Debbie at the Thomas family’s River Grove Farm in Sun Valley, Idaho, are
Linda Edwards of Rancho Sante Fe, Elma Garcia of Sonoma, and
Melanie Cornwell of Escondido.
Congratulations to Steffen Peters and Shannon Barnes – they have announced a September wedding. Let’s hope Steffen will have another piece of gold after the Olympics in addition to his wedding ring!
Robert Dover was feeling so assured of a spot on the team during the Selection Trials that he went out and had a tattoo of the Olympic Rings inked on his back at the base of his neck – just ask him to turn down his collar and show you (he’s quite proud of his tattoo!). We hear tattoos are becoming a ‘Team Clark’ tradition.
Lendon Gray signed the longest lease she’s ever committed to at Sunnyfield Farm in Bedford, New York (five years), but she’s hinting that she’d like to turn the boarding and lessons business over to her long-time former working student Jessica Rizzi and hit the road as a clinician. Lendon’s certainly got a full plate of big-time show events lined up – she’s heading up Dressage Night at The Metropolitan featuring The Continental Cup in New York City on November 3 and The Sixth Annual Youth Dressage Festival (formerly The Northeast Junior/Young Rider Dressage Championships) in Saugerties, New York, August 27-29.
PS - Lendon accompanied her longtime on-again-off-again assistant trainer Courtney King to the Intermediaire I Championships in California, then disaster! Not the horse, but poor Courtney had to withdraw on the second day due to a bad case of food poisoning! Better luck next time for this fabulous rider. (Luckily cute new beau Jason was there to buck up her spirits!)
Did we see a budding romance between hot stuff Michael Shondell and beautiful Katie Riley (assistant to Michael’s trainer Cesar Parra)? They do make a lovely couple … and wasn’t it nice to see Katie coaching Michael at the I-I Championship as Cesar was off to prepare for the Colombian Olympic Team.
We hear Michael Poulin is yet again working on one of his radical ideas … an independent scholarly endeavor researching the decline of dressage as documented in the changing versions of the dressage tests. Quite a project, but none better to attempt it.
And hats off to hunter/jumper show manager extraordinaire Tom Struzzieri for including dressage at his fabulous new show grounds HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York. Not only did he feature dressage exhibitions and Olympians in his Grand Opening, but his grounds will also host Lendon Gray’s Youth Dressage Festival in August.
Hildegard Frostbite’s Next Column Will Be Posted On August 1, 2004 …
Oh my, it seems that the gossip columnists are having a catfight. Well, not really, but they sure are on a mission to ‘out-scoop’ each other. Guess the gossip is soon to heat up in all the columns that are out there these days and this column will be no exception. Love, Hildy … mailto: Hfrostbite@aol.com
Other Columns by this Author:
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THIS IS NOT OFFICIAL RECORD; SEE DOCUMENTS IF QUESTION OR CONFLICT
Jewish Kids and Horse
`Horrific' attack on horse investigated in West Boca
By Nancy L. Othón
Posted February 20 2004
WEST BOCA · Sheriff's deputies are investigating the sexual assault of a
horse earlier this week, while the mare's owner has gathered enough donations from
fellow horse lovers to offer a $10,000 reward.
The horse, a 31-year-old Arabian named Rosie, is on intravenous antibiotics
and is expected to recover within a few weeks but will require surgery.
"I still don't believe it," said Rosie's owner, Kim Boros. "It's just
Boros, of Pompano Beach, has owned Rosie for about 13 years and boards her at
a barn on Horseshoe Acres off Clint Moore Road west of Boca Raton. A
13-year-old girl taking care of Rosie found the bleeding horse in an adjoining pasture
at about 5 p.m. Sunday. and her mother immediately called Boros.
"My first thought was, she's going to die -- that's a lot of blood," Boros
After doing a thorough examination, Dr. Jerry Rudnick told Boros that Rosie
has been sexually assaulted. A tree branch used in the assault was found in the
pasture and taken as evidence.
Animal-cruelty investigator Cassie Kovacs is pursuing the case as
aggressively as she can, said sheriff's spokesman Paul Miller.
"She has not seen anything like this," Miller said. "This is horrific."
In his 18-year career caring for horses, Rudnick said, he has seen this type
of incident just once before, several years ago in Broward County. That attack
was not as violent as the one inflicted on Rosie, Rudnick said.
Together with friends and acquaintances who share her love for horses, Boros
has gathered $10,000 for a reward.
"Some people might think we're crazy for putting up $10,000 for a horse, but
to me, she's my baby and she's part of our family," Boros said. "[The suspect]
picked the wrong horse to mess with."
Boros is distributing fliers at saddle shops and feed stores, hoping to
generatetips on the case.
Boys will be boys
Boros thinks the attack happened about 1 p.m. Sunday because neighbors
reported hearing whinnying about that time. The teen taking care of the horse saw
Rosie at 11:30 a.m. and returned at 4:30 p.m. Rudnick also narrowed the time
down by examining the level of swelling on the horse.
Property owner Kerry Goldman, who lives next to the horse barn, said the
suspect must have known that she would be out of town. Goldman already has sent a
letter to all of her neighbors, advising them of the assault and asking for
Anyone with information about the case should contact Palm Beach County Crime
Stoppers, 800-458-8477. Callers can remain anonymous. The $10,000 reward is
available for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Nancy L. Othón can be reached at nothon at sun-sentinel.com or 561-243-6633.
|Published Thursday, February 26, 2004 1:00 am|
Grain found in the horse’s teeth indicated the suspect knew what they were doing.
“Rosie can be very difficult to catch, and it’s clear this person knew enough about horses to know to get grain in order to catch her,” said Rosie’s owner Kim Boros of Pompano Beach.
Kerry Goldman, the owner of the property where Rosie is boarded, was out of town and said the neighbors who were taking care of the horses had not given Rosie the grain.
Goldman and her husband had left a car in the driveway and also taken their two dogs with them on their trip. Goldman said the attacker must have been familiar with the area and known they were out of town.
Rosie was found in an enclosed, fenced-off area of the pasture by the 14-year-old girl who came over to feed the horses.
“They must have broken down the fence, put her in there and then put it back up,” said Goldman.
Rosie was bleeding profusely when the young girl found her and she immediately called Dr. Jerry Rudnick. Rudnick determined the horse was attacked.
“He said ‘this was a deliberate act and you need to call 911’,” said Goldman. Rosie is now on the mend, but will have to undergo surgery in the next couple of weeks.
A tree branch used in the assault was found nearby and taken by police as evidence.
Both Boros and Goldman said Rosie’s sweet disposition was an advantage to her attacker.
“People ask me how come she didn’t kick them,” said Boros. “But it’s not in her nature. She wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
Boros said she’s had Rosie for 13 years and used her as a school horse to give lessons in Delray Beach.
Nancy Pire, who’s daughter was one of Boro’s first students, said the gentle mare taught many children how to ride.
“It’s totally sick,” Pire said. “My daughter learned how to ride on that horse. She is just devastated.”
An outpouring of generosity and concern from the community helped Boro raise an $11,000 reward for information leading to an arrest for this assault. Boro said her husband started the award with just $500, but people in the community began calling and asking if they could help, she said.
Boro said everyone is concerned that if the suspect is not caught they could move on to attack not only other animals, but other people.
“If they hurt a horse this bad, who knows what they could do to a person,” said Boro.
Animal-cruelty investigator Cassie Kovacs from the sheriff’s office said she is still following leads surrounding this case
Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers should be contacted at 800-458-8477 with any information surrounding this case. Callers remain anonymous. The $11,000 reward is available for information leading to an arrest.
Police fear that Monica may have been murdered by a serial killer. Police believe she was probably snatched by someone who had been watching her and knew about her routine nightly walk. Cops suspect that she was abducted shortly before 9 p.m. on her way home.
|Boca Raton's gentile community gripped by fear as killer stalks [ Post 1174187 ]|
Boca Raton Jews in high gear to cover crime
Yhids suspected in young girls murder
Foul play feared in disappearance of nanny from Coral Springs store
By Shannon O'boye
Posted June 5 2004