By David Brand
A former NYPD Vice Squad detective and his wife pleaded guilty to corruption in Queens Supreme Court Wednesday, eight months after they were arrested along with seven active cops and charged with running a multi-million dollar brothel and gambling operation.
Retired NYPD Vice Squad Detective Ludwig Paz and his wife Arelis Peralta were the ringleaders of the scheme, which facilitated prostitution at eight properties in Queens and Brooklyn. They avoided law enforcement thanks to helpful tips from current cops who prosecutors said alerted them to undercover operations and potential raids.
Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan said Paz’s actions “tarnish the badge” and disgrace the “honest, hardworking professionals who have sworn an oath to enforce and uphold the law.”
“[Paz] used his knowledge of the inner workings of the New York City Police Department to run a string of brothels in Queens, Brooklyn and Hempstead, Long Island,” Ryan said. “This kind of corruption will not be tolerated and the guilty pleas and promised time behind bars to be meted out should serve as a warning to all residents — including members of service — that lawlessness will not be tolerated in New York City.”
Paz, 51, and Peralta, 43, established brothels at Liberty and Onderdonk Avenues in Queens; on Gates, Foster and Fourth Avenues and 42nd Street in Brooklyn and on Front Street in Hempstead, Long Island.
Paz pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted enterprise corruption and one count of third-degree promoting prostitution. Justice Ronald Hollie set sentencing for June 25 and Paz faces four to 12 years in prison.
Peralta pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted enterprise corruption. Hollie sentenced her to 364 days in jail.
Earlier this month, Brooklyn South Vice Detective Rene Samaniego, one of the active cops involved in the scheme, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted enterprise corruption. He is also scheduled to be sentenced on June 25 and faces two to six years behind bars.