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Strippers charged in scheme to drug, swindle wealthy men

In a photo from the Drug Enforcement Administration,

In a photo from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Samantha Barbash is escorted by law enforcement officers on Monday, June 9, 2014, after her arrest in New York. Credit: AP / DEA

When Dr. Zyad Younan was sued by the Manhattan strip club Scores for not paying his tab, he was flabbergasted and immediately had questions about the amount club officials said he owed -- $135,000.

An indictment unsealed Wednesday in Manhattan Criminal Court after an undercover investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and NYPD may hold some answers for the New Jersey cardiologist.

According to the indictment, four female strippers are accused of trolling upscale bars in the city and Long Island, on the hunt for wealthy men they secretly drugged and took to Scores and RoadHouse NYC Gentlemen's Club in Flushing, Queens.

At the clubs, the women allegedly made nearly $200,000 in unauthorized charges on the men's credit cards. The scam allegedly ran from last September through December, court papers stated.

Younan's attorney, Michael Weinstein, said in a statement that the indictment showed his client, 41, had been preyed upon and was not responsible for the charges billed to his account.

None of the three other victims were named.

The indictment, brought by Manhattan special narcotics prosecutor Bridget Brennan, charged Samantha Barbash, 40, of Little Neck, Roselyn Keo, 29, of Nanuet in Rockland County, Karina Pascucci, 26, of Metuchen, New Jersey, and Marsi Rosen, 28, of Bayside, of conspiracy, grand larceny and related offenses.

Carmine Vitolo, 42, of Pomona, in Rockland County, a manager at RoadHouse, was charged with conspiracy, grand larceny and tampering with evidence.

Pascucci was held on $5,000 Wednesday. Keo and Rosen were also earlier held on $5,000 cash bail, Barbash held on $10,000, officials said. Vitolo was released Wednesday without bail, said his attorney Brian Pakett.

The women, described by investigators as "adult entertainers," were nabbed in an undercover investigation that started after one of the alleged victims complained to police about tens of thousands in unauthorized charges, said a law enforcement official.

The women spiked the drinks of the men with the horse tranquilizer ketamine and the stimulant methylene, commonly called "molly."

The victims, who worked in medicine, law and banking, were essentially unconscious or extremely intoxicated from the mix of drugs, officials said.

The effects were so strong that the men weren't aware of what they were doing in the clubs or what was being done to them, officials said.

Some were photographed in compromising situations with women or other men, said one investigator.

The scheme was so brazen that one of the defendants allegedly tried to spike the drink of an undercover DEA agent who had arranged to meet one of the women in an upscale Manhattan bar, the official said.

The agent, who was being surveilled on the "date" by other DEA agents, never drank the mixture, the investigator explained.

With Alison Fox

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