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NYPD Sergeant Meets With Police Investigators in 'Millionaire Madam' Case

By Leslie Albrecht | March 7, 2012 11:50am | Updated on March 7, 2012 1:57pm
Anna Gristina, 44, appears in Manhattan Supreme Court to face a charge of promoting prostitution on Mar. 6th , 2012.
Anna Gristina, 44, appears in Manhattan Supreme Court to face a charge of promoting prostitution on Mar. 6th , 2012.
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DNAinfo/Paul Lomax

By Murray Weiss, Shayna Jacobs, Trevor Kapp and Leslie Albrecht

DNAinfo Staff

MANHATTAN — An NYPD sergeant met with the department's Internal Affairs Bureau Wednesday morning to find out if he had any connection to the Upper East Side's alleged pig-loving "Millionaire Madam," a police source said.

Richard Wall, a 12-year veteran assigned to the Upper East Side's 19th Precinct, was ordered to report to IAB to explain why he was a regular visitor to the E. 78th Street apartment where authorities say Anna Gristina operated a high-end prostitution service for powerful clients.

Investigators took the officer's memo book — the notebook where cops record their official activities, sources said, adding that they did not question him.

Wall is a conditions officer for the precinct, which means he was tasked with responding to recurring issues that occurred in the area, sources said.

Wall admitted to friends and associates that he went to the E. 78th Street building numerous times — but said he was only responding to radio calls, the same way he responded to dozens of other buildings on the Upper East Side, sources said. Wall denied any wrongdoing, sources said. 

Wall received word Tuesday night that he was to report to IAB.

A neighbor of the alleged Upper East Side brothel said Wall was a well-known face on the block for the past couple of years.

"He comes in and out of there," said Henry, a 62-year-old local resident who declined to give his last name, but said he knew Wall by both name and badge number. "He's got a regular routine. He's around here all the time."

Henry said he confronted Wall once.

''They were hanging around out front... One time, I saw him walking out here to a police car, and I went up to him and said, 'What the hell are you doing?' And he stands there and looks at me... and walks away.''

''The next day these Hispanic guys come up to me and shoved me," he added.

"I called the police, and I told them what happened. The cops went over and talked to the two Hispanic guys and came back and said, 'Let me explain something to you. Assault, you have to show assault. There's no marks on your face, no nothing. We don't really see a problem, so be a man and just mind your own business.' Then they walked away.''

Wall visited mostly in the afternoons and he was one of many men — and beautiful women — who often streamed in and out of Gristina's building, Henry said. 

"This has been going on a long time," Henry said. "People in the neighborhood have made complaints, and they let this go."

Gristina, 44, was indicted on Feb. 22 by a Manhattan grand jury on a single charge of promoting prostitution. Gristina, who prosecutors claim to have on tape admitting she made millions in 15 years as a madam, was hit with $2 million bail after the DA's office claimed that her network of wealthy male clients and associates, combined with a home in Canada and a British passport, made her a flight risk.

Her arrest followed an in-depth surveillance by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Official Corruption Unit that specializes in investigating NYPD officers and uniformed public servants involved in criminal conduct.

She was charged along with a co-conspirator, whose name has been redacted from court records and who was not present at the arraignment.

Prosecutors said the alleged madam had bragged during the Eliot Spitzer investigation that she had a network of law enforcement sources poised to tip her off if her business was being watched, according to the documents.

On Tuesday, police were searching for a woman believed to be Gristina's co-conspirator, Jaynie Mae Baker, 30, a recruiter for a high-end matchmaking service VIP Life, sources told DNAinfo.