A Massapequa man who helped his wife run a prostitution ring was sentenced Thursday to four months of time served and six months of weekends in jail even as he pursues his new career cutting hair, his attorney said.
Vincent and Melissa Lombardo, both 46, had been arrested in 2013 for running Aphrodite Companions from their homes, a business that federal prosecutors had described as an international ring. The prostitutes were very choosy, prosecutors said, from their clientele to the five-star hotel venues where they would meet them.
“The ladies would come in and they would pay him and he would go to the bank,” said his attorney, Joseph Conway of Mineola.
At the sentencing in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, he was also given three years’ probation, having pleaded guilty in February to money laundering as part of a deal in which the second charge, engaging in financial transactions that promoted prostitution, was dropped, Conway said.
He also assisted in another federal investigation, he said.
Conway said the couple were “pretty brazen” on their Aphrodite Companions website but maintains that federal officials “oversold” the scope of how much business they did.
“What they ended up having was a couple of clients . . . who had paid money for the ladies to go a couple of times overseas,” the attorney said. “That was the international flavor of their business.”
Lombardo’s guilty plea last year came around the same time he finished barber school and began snipping locks at Anthony’s Trendz Barber Shop in Island Park, Conway said.
A man who primarily had odd jobs before his arrest, Lombardo, with the help of a relative who was a haircutter, latched onto the idea of becoming a barber because he needed a job when the case was over.
“It’s quite the lifestyle change,” Conway said. “The owner took a liking to him and some customers took a liking to him.”
The owner even wrote a letter on his behalf for the sentencing, the attorney said.
Melissa Lombardo, whose sentencing has not been set, also pleaded guilty to the same charge, Conway said, and the couple’s Florida home in Boca Raton and their bank accounts were forfeited, netting the government about $400,000. They are living with his parents, the attorney said.