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Spitzer's Gal Pal Was Evicted From Apartment Used as Brothel: Court Docs

By  James Fanelli and Murray Weiss | February 23, 2016 7:18am 

 Svetlana Travis was evicted from an Upper East Side apartment she rented because it was being used as a brothel, court papers say.
Svetlana Travis was evicted from an Upper East Side apartment she rented because it was being used as a brothel, court papers say.
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UPPER EAST SIDE — Disgraced Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s ex-hooker girlfriend was evicted last year from an apartment because it was being used as a brothel, DNAinfo New York has learned.

Svetlana Travis — whose hotel rendezvous with Spitzer earlier this month led to a 911 call and a subsequent probe into whether he assaulted her — was booted in July 2015 from a rental pad at Lexington Avenue and East 78th Street after other tenants complained to the building manager and to police about a revolving door of men going in and out of her unit, court records show.

City marshals evicted Travis from the first-floor apartment following several warnings from the building manager, Sierra Residential, and legal action by the landlord, Contor Associates, according to documents filed in Manhattan Housing Court.

 Investigators are looking into whether disgraced Gov. Eliot Spitzer assaulted a onetime high-end prostitute at the Plaza Hotel earlier this month.
Investigators are looking into whether disgraced Gov. Eliot Spitzer assaulted a onetime high-end prostitute at the Plaza Hotel earlier this month.
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Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Tenants at the Upper East Side building started complaining about smoke coming from Travis’ apartment shortly after she signed a lease in January 2015, according to the eviction papers.

After the building’s super investigated the complaints, “he discovered that men were entering and leaving the apartment at approximately one-hour intervals on most afternoons,” the court papers say.

When Adam Frisch, a managing principal at Sierra Residential, confronted Travis about the allegations, she told him that she was leaving for Russia, her homeland, for business and that a friend was staying in the apartment.

Despite Frisch’s questioning, conditions at the apartment apparently remained the same.

The eviction papers say that, some time between late March and early April, a building tenant filed a complaint with the NYPD about prostitution taking place in Travis’ pad.

Frisch issued another warning — this time to Paul Nippes, a divorced New Jersey businessman who is listed as a co-signer on the lease with Travis, according to the court records.

“The management of the building has asked me to reach out to you to let you know that they have some very serious concerns about things that are going on in the apartment and are considering eviction proceedings,” Frisch wrote in an April 7 email to Nippes. “I think it would be a good idea for us to speak when you can.”

Nippes told DNAinfo that he never signed a lease at the Upper East Side apartment with Travis. Rather, he said, Travis used his personal information and forged his signature at the 1125 Lexington Ave. building and at least one other building.

The same day he emailed Nippes, Frisch received a strange email from a woman named Lana Travi, who wrote, “Hi! Svetlana had left the apartment in January, what are you talking about?”

Contor Associates wrote in the eviction papers that Lana Travi was an alias for Svetlana Travis.

The fed-up landlord began the eviction proceeding in Housing Court on April 20 with a filing that said "the apartment is being used for the purpose of prostitution" and that they may also be illegally subletting the unit.

“The apartment’s use is causing traffic in the building wherein different men are entering and leaving the apartment on an hourly basis, and which traffic is a security issue for the building,” the filing says.

And the complaints continued.

The NYPD received a 911 call at 9:22 p.m. on April 30 from a terrified tenant complaining about prostitution at Travis’ apartment and strange men visiting the apartment throughout the day, police sources said.

Patrol officers responded to the complaint but did not see any men coming in and out of the unit, sources said. However, the complaint was passed on to the NYPD’s Organized Crime and Control Bureau, which handles vice crimes.

Sierra Residential and a lawyer for Contor did not respond to requests for comment.

Court records also show Travis and Nippes were evicted from a third apartment, in Murray Hill, this fall for owing nearly $6,000 in back rent. Nippes said he never signed a lease on that apartment, either.

Nippes said Travis was able to take out the leases at the Murray Hill and Upper East Side apartments because she had his personal information. He said she knew the information from when he did her a favor by being a guarantor on an apartment she rented in 2014 because she had bad credit.

He declined to say how he knew her.

Travis could not be reached for comment as she flew to Russia the day after the incident with Spitzer.

Investigators are looking into whether Spitzer choked Travis during an argument in a room at The Plaza Hotel on Feb. 13. That evening, officers responding to a 911 call found Spitzer in the hotel room and a bleeding Travis in the lobby, police sources said.

She told police that Spitzer had put his hands on her neck to restrain her, according to sources. She also told officers that she had cut her wrists with a sharp object, sources said.

However, after initially cooperating, she stopped talking to police and said she did not want to press charges.

Spitzer’s lawyer has since said Travis recanted the allegations.

The Bronx District Attorney’s Office is currently investigating the incident after Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. recused himself from the probe because of close ties to Spitzer.

Travis, 25, bragged in October 2014 in a first-person story on Medium about being a $5,000-a-night call girl. In the story, she claimed she had stopped prostituting because she had made more than $200,000 and wanted to pursue a film career.

Travis, who was born in Yekaterinburg, Russia, said on Medium that when she arrived in the United States she moved to Brooklyn. After looking for work, she took a job as a masseuse and gradually moved into prostitution, her article says.

A city marriage certificate shows that in 2012 she tied the knot to Michael Travis, a 25-year-old cement mason from Hurleyville, N.Y., who is also an amateur race car driver.

She and her husband divorced in 2013, records show.

A source said that on escort sites she went by the alias Adrianna Ferreni and Jetset Anna. The Ferreni profile has multiple glowing reviews on escort service sites.

Still, she hasn’t left everyone satisfied.

One former customer said Svetlana was “not a nice person.”

“You go to dinner with her, and she treats the waiters like s---,” the customer said. “It’s embarrassing. She’s pretty full of herself."