The Washington Post

NEW YORK — Michael Garcia’s predecessors as U.S. attorney in Manhattan took on all five mob families, the titans of Wall Street, Osama bin Laden and even Martha Stewart. So it was largely unnoticed when Garcia wanted to attack public corruption.

Then his public corruption unit investigated a prostitution ring that took down former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

In an interview last week, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York declined to comment on the investigation. That’s not surprising since his office must decide whether to bring criminal charges against Spitzer, identified in court papers only as Client No. 9.

A woman accused of booking clients for the high-priced call girl ring, Temeka Rachelle Lewis, pleaded guilty Wednesday to promoting prostitution and money laundering. She could face around 16 months in prison, or less, depending on how much she cooperates with prosecutors, when she is sentenced in August, her lawyer said.

Three others accused of being part of the ring still face charges, and their lawyers are negotiating with the U.S. attorney’s office.

The escort service prosecution that ensnared Spitzer is the highest profile in a string of successes this year for one of the nation’s busiest and largest federal prosecutors offices, which has more than 220 assistant U.S. attorneys.

The day after the charges were announced, former Democratic Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin pleaded guilty to a decade of crimes, admitting he took thousands of dollars in kickbacks and forced members of a labor union he led to hang his Christmas lights.

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