'Hedge Fund' Madam Strikes Deal

Sep 26 2012 | 11:47am ET

A New York madam with a client list full of "hedge funders" and other millionaires and billionaires has pleaded guilty to promoting prostitution.

Anna Gristina accepted a plea deal from prosecutors that will keep her from serving any more time in jail. Gristina, who ran her prostitution business from her suburban Monroe, N.Y., home to stay close to her four children, spent four months on Rikers Island after her arrest in April before being freed when her bail was lowered.

When the 45-year-old was arrested, the New York Post reported that her business catered only to those with at least $1 million in the bank, including "hedge funders" and at least "two billionaires." She also reportedly met with employees of Morgan Stanley at the bank's offices, but no names of clients have trickled out.

Rumors of friends in high places are what landed her in prison in the first place: She told a friend on a wiretapped phone call that her clients would pay for her to leave the country if she got caught. Prosecutors said that those claims could not be proved.

Gristina could have spent seven years in prison if convicted, but the judge said that time served and probation was "fair and just," even though he pronounced himself "not pleased" with Gristina's conduct during the case.

Gristina, who is not an American citizen, could also face deportation to her native Scotland.

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