A Miami federal jury on Thursday convicted three of four men accused of running a ring of girls who swindled men at South Beach clubs.
Stanislav Pavlenko, Albert Takhalov and Isaac Feldman were convicted of stealing money from dozens of male customers by billing them bogus charges for champagne, vodka and caviar on their credit cards at clubs, the Miami Herald reports.
A fourth defendant, Siavash Zargari, was acquitted.
Among those who provided testimony in the case was a former Philadelphia TV weatherman who was taken for $43,000 over two nights, the newspaper said. The weatherman, John Bolaris, described the women as “the kind of girls you’d like to marry.” They tricked him into buying a painting at a bar for $2,480, the Miami Herald reported.
Another defendant, Alec Simchuk, pleaded guilty before trial and in October testified about his partners and associates.
In his plea agreement, he said his group ran up phony bills for booze, wine and champagne on the credit cards of male tourists, the newspaper reported. The scam cost customers between $400,000 and $1 million, according to the plea agreement.
More than a dozen suspects were charged last year in the scheme, and most of them have since pleaded guilty. Federal officials said the so-called B-Girls generally got a 20 percent take of the exorbitant bills while club owners got 10 percent.