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Cops Raid Lawyer Connected to 'Millionaire Madam' Anna Gristina

By DNAinfo Staff on March 16, 2012 4:50pm  | Updated on March 16, 2012 6:47pm

NYPD detectives remove boxes from 225 Broadway, March 16, 2012.
NYPD detectives remove boxes from 225 Broadway, March 16, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

By Murray Weiss, William J. Gorta, Jill Colvin, Shayna Jacobs and Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Staff

DOWNTOWN — Detectives raided the downtown offices of a lawyer affiliated with the building where "Millionaire Madam" Anna Gristina allegedly ran her high-end prostitution ring.

Investigators were seen Friday afternoon hauling off boxes of records from 225 Broadway, where the office of attorney David Jaroslawicz is located. That office has been linked in documents to 304 East 78th Street, the address of Gristina's brothel.

At Gristina’s arraignment last month, Assistant District Attorney Charles Linehan said the madam claimed to have a “lawyer friend” who helps her invest and launder money.

"This is not that lawyer," said Jaroslawicz's attorney, Marc Agnifilo. "The prosecutor was very clear that he is not the target of the investigation in any way so there's no indication that he's been involved in any wrongdoing.

Police remove boxes from 225 Broadway, March 16, 2012.
Police remove boxes from 225 Broadway, March 16, 2012.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

"There's no indication that he's furthering the business in any way and he does not own the brothel."

Agnifilo said the documents seized were financial records related to Jaroslawicz's Monroe real estate holdings.

"I think they're investigating whether there is some financial relationship," Agnifilo said.  "I don't think at the end of the day that any of that's going to be criminal."

Jaroslawicz is not listed as an owner of 304 East 78th Street, but the building where his law office is located, 225 Broadway, is cited in a 2003 Buildings Department violation as the return address for 304 East 78 LLC, which does own the building where Gristina allegedly plied her trade.

Gristina's home and pig fam in Monroe, NY, is owned by 881 Lakes Rd LLC, according to property records. The corporate address for that company is the 24th floor of 225 Broadway in Manhattan — exactly where Jaroslawicz’s law office is located. The Middletown Times Herald Record first reported the connection between Gristina and Jaroslawicz.

Jaroslawicz also has a home next to Gristina's, as property records list him as the owner of 871 Lakes Road in Monroe.

"We've been cooperative with the DA's office," Agnifilo said. "In addition to search warrants they gave us a document subpoena for anything they didn't get."

Agnifilo declined to comment on the nature of Jaroslawicz's relationship with Gristina.

"There's a relationship," he said. "I really can't characterize it."

Jaroslawicz did not return calls Friday afternoon. The doorman at his Riverside Drive apartment said Jaroslawicz's wife did not want to speak to the press.

According to his law firm’s website, Jaroslawicz has been in practice for more than 40 years and was selected as one of the top trial lawyers in the country by The American Trial Lawyers Association.

The Brooklyn Law School graduate was described in a 2000 New York Observer profile as an “aspiring scourge of the Internet” who represented sexually harassed women in the wild days of Downtown "Silicon Alley" Internet start-ups. 

He also represented a former Miss USA who tried to sue the Sultan of Brunei for allegedly forcing her into prostitution, and last year repped Christina Scavo and Shannon O’Toole, massage therapists, who sued Brett Favre and their employer, the New York Jets, for sexual harassment.

Gristina was caught on tape crowing that she had “connections in law enforcement who are poised to help her out,” Linehan said in court.

That bragging jammed up two women alleged to be turning tricks for Gristina.

Mhairiangela Bottone and Catherine DeVries were each hit with a single prostitution charge, according to court papers.

The accused prostitutes were the "collateral damage" of a bigger probe, and prosecutors are not as interested in the black book or clientele as they are in identifying the cops who may have provided protection for the Gristina’s business, said a source with knowledge of the investigation.

"They're looking for cops or other government employees who had some connection to a sort of quid pro quo with this madam," the source said.

Linehan told the judge at Bottone’s March 2 arraignment that Bottone had spoken to prosecutors and would be talking to them further.

"We hope to get this resolved very quickly in my client's favor,” Bottone’s lawyer, Carlos Carvajal, told DNAinfo. 

Linehan made similar statements four days earlier when DeVries, 31, was arraigned.

Her lawyer, Leonard Levinson, declined to comment.

Both women were released without bail.