By Murray Weiss, Shayna Jacobs and Adam Nichols
MANHATTAN — A disgraced accountant and former IRS agent has been accused of helping "Millionaire Madam" Anna Gristina, DNAinfo has learned.
Jonas Gayer, 67, was arrested in 2010 and charged with promoting prostitution and money laundering, but his case has been shrouded in secrecy. Court papers identify him only as "John Doe."
His last court appearance was on Feb. 22, the same day Gristina was arrested.
Gayer's involvement with alleged madam Gristina and her co-defendant, Jaynie Mae Baker, was one of the main reasons the Manhattan District Attorney's office launched a five-year investigation into the vice ring that was allegedly operated out of East 78th Street, sources said.
His name had surfaced five years ago as a close confidant of Gristina when another prostitute began informing on Gristina after she was arrested in an unrelated criminal case.
His arrest followed months of undercover investigation that included his phones being wiretapped for as many as four years, sources added.
The balding, bespectacled man brought attention to Gristina's alleged operation when investigators watching him noticed he was a regular fixture in her social calendar, attending dinner parties with Gristina and wealthy businessmen and executives.
In 1989, Gayer was controller for a company called J-Ro Trucking Corporation, which was owned and operated by Albert M. Goldstein, who was exposed as one of the city's most infamous tax cheats.
At the time, Goldstein's company had a fleet of 60 trucks and was the sole distributor for Key Foods. Goldstein, Gayer, and three others were arrested and hit by a 58-count indictment for running a massive $10 million federal tax fraud case.
"This is believed to be the largest evasion-of-payment scheme of its kind ever brought in the United States," said Andrew J. Maloney, the former US Attorney in Brooklyn.
Gayer, who had worked as a revenue agent with the IRS from 1972 until 1982, "cooked" the books to mask the fraud, sources said. He pleaded guilty, but didn't serve any jail time.
Sources said on Thursday that the scammers laundered much of the $10 million by creating shell companies, which Gayer was involved in, and by betting on horses, where one of the suspects lived out his degenerate gambling fantasies.
When Gayer was grabbed by federal agents outside his Forest Hills home, he began screaming for his wife, one of the agents told DNAinfo, yelling "Eva! Eva! Eva!"
Gristina was arrested on Feb. 22 and charged with one count of promoting prostitution. Her alleged accomplice, Baker, turned herself in to authorities on Tuesday after spending nearly three weeks on the lam. She claimed she had been on vacation in Mexico.
Baker was also charged with promoting prostitution. She was released on $100,000 bail while Gristina, a mother of four from upstate Monroe, N.Y., is being held in Rikers Island jail on $2 million bail.
Gayer, contacted at his Beekman Place home Friday, denied knowing Gristina or being involved in the case.
He also denied knowing Baker, but after being reminded that they were friends on Facebook, he said he knew her through a restaurant account he had worked on.
Calls to Gayer's lawyer were not immediately returned.