A woman accused of running an illegal prostitution ring in the nation's capital has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the criminal case against her.

Deborah Jeane Palfrey, 51, of Vallejo, Calif., is accused in federal court of racketeering by running a prostitution ring that netted more than $2 million over 13 years, beginning in 1993. Palfrey claims her escort service, Pamela Martin and Associates, was legitimate.

Her civil attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, filed papers Thursday with the Supreme Court asking for an emergency stay of the racketeering case. He argues that it's unfair to proceed against Palfrey while her assets remain seized in a civil forfeiture case, because she lacks the means to hire an attorney of her choice.

Palfrey's case has garnered attention because of multiple threats to reveal the identities of her customers.