Extortion escort on trial
USA - The Russian escort accused of extorting close to $400,000 from disgraced politician Eliot Spitzer hid behind her hair as she was indicted on multiple counts in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday. Svetlana Travis Zakharova, 26, is facing 20 counts of larceny and forgery for targeting Spitzer and two other victims who have not yet been named. She allegedly managed to extort $50,000 from one of those men and used the other man’s information to rent apartments without his knowledge. Bail was continued at $1million and Zakharova is due back in court early next month. The case is being handled by Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark after Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. recused himself because of the close ties between his office and Spitzer, the former governor of New York. Zakharova was allegedly given checks made out in amounts ranging from $3,000 to $50,000 over a two-year period by Spitzer and then transferred the money to Russian bank accounts. She left New York City in February after an encounter with Spitzer in her room at The Plaza Hotel which left her in the hospital. Zakharova later told authorities that she was assaulted by Spitzer in her suite at the luxury hotel when she informed him of her plans to return to Moscow. Spitzer admitted to his relationship with Zakharova in July when he filed suit against the Russian national and said he had been paying her money in exhange for her silence. He claimed in those documents that Zakharova had demanded hundreds of thousands of dollars and trips to Paris or she would ‘ruin his life.’ This came eight years after Spitzer resigned as governor in 2008 amid revelations that he had sex with prostitutes. He was later identified as a prostitution ring patron known as ‘Client Number 9’ after a federal investigation, but never charged with any crime.
Svetlana Travis Zakharova is accused of extorting close to $400,000 from disgraced politician Eliot Spitzer.
Svetlana Travis Zakharova (L) and Eliot Spitzer (R).