NEW YORK – A college student who managed the prostitution ring that brought down former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer was sentenced Thursday to six months in prison.
Cecil Suwal, 24, of New York, cried as she apologized and asked for mercy from U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones.
"It is my aim to prevent others, especially young girls, from making the kind of mistakes that I have made," Suwal said.
She pleaded guilty last year to money laundering, conspiracy and conspiring to promote prostitution.
The federal probation department had recommended that Suwal receive no prison time. Prosecutors had sought roughly two years.
The judge said Suwal opened bank accounts for shell businesses created to hide the true nature of the operation, paid prostitutes and arranged meetings with clients.
It was one such meeting in a Washington hotel last February that snared Spitzer and led to his March resignation as governor.
Prosecutors announced in November they would not charge Spitzer after investigators found no evidence that he misused public or campaign funds for prostitution. The federal government typically does not prosecute clients of prostitution rings.
The federal judge credited Suwal for going to "extraordinary lengths to put her life back on track" but said it could not erase the fact that she had played a central role in the escort service.
Booking agent Tanya Robin Hollander of Rhinebeck, New York, pleaded guilty to a prostitution conspiracy and was sentenced to a year of probation. Another booking agent, Temeka Lewis, who is enrolled at the University of Virginia, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to promoting prostitution and money laundering.