Call center here figures in U.S. prostitution case

A Florida call girl ring used call centers in Costa Rica and Panamá to arrange encounters between prostitutes and customers, mostly in the United States, according to federal officials.

The case is in the news because Gregory Carr, who with his wife Laurie operated the ring, received a 14-month prison sentence in federal court in Michigan, this week. The case was there because federal officials said that the ring, called Miami Companions, had a large presence there.

The Carrs and two other persons were detained last July. The operation took 40 percent of the earnings of the prostitutes, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation said at the time of the arrests that the Carrs transferred millions of dollars to overseas bank accounts in order to promote their prostitution organization by paying for employees to work in their call centers in Panamá and Costa Rica and rental payments for exotic beach houses where clients exchanged money for sex.

Carr was known by an alias, Paul Cutlass, investigators said.

The prostitution business continued for more than nine years and was considered one of the largest prostitution organizations in the United States.

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