WASHINGTON – A woman accused of running an upscale prostitution service in the Washington area might sell her list of 10,000 clients to pay for her defense, her attorney said Friday.
Authorities have seized about $1 million worth of real estate and $500,000 in cash and stocks from Deborah Jean Palfrey, 50, said her attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley.
"She's found herself backed into a corner," Sibley said Friday. "There's only essentially one asset she could liquidate."
Sibley also said he would subpoena dozens of Palfrey's clients and escorts to testify if the case goes to trial.
Palfrey, of Vallejo, Calif., was indicted on federal racketeering charges this week in federal court in Washington.
Prosecutors say the call-girl service hired college-educated women to cater to men in hotels and homes in Washington and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs.
In 13 years, the service employed 132 women, all at least 22 years old and who had other jobs, and generated about $2 million in income, prosecutors allege.
Sibley has described his client's business as a legal escort service that operated almost exclusively with cash. He said the women who worked for Palfrey were given tax statements each year, listing their earnings as independent contractors, and that Palfrey accurately reported her income on federal tax returns.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office had no comment on the client list or the possibility that Palfrey will make it public.