After Work

But the Strippers Drugged Me: Outrageous Scam Creates an Alibi for Everyone, Forever


When Zyad Younan, a cardiologist at New York’s Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, was sued in April by the strip club Scores for running up a $135,000 bill and refusing to pay, he immediately and understandably became tabloid fodder. Younan claimed he never remembered going to the famed New York strip club, and that if he had, he must have been drugged. These claims were met with profound and amused skepticism. For a bright young doctor, it seemed a weak story.

According to an indictment filed in Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday, however, Younan was telling the truth. Four women, along with one man, the manager of the RoadHouse Club strip club, are all charged with running a scam that involved drugging wealthy men, taking them to strip clubs, and getting them to run up exorbitant sums on their credit cards. The strip clubs they favored were the RoadHouse, in Queens, and Scores. Younan is referred to in the indictment as “Victim 3.” The gang is charged with stealing more than $200,000, and the men would often wake up not remembering a thing. According to the New York Times:

“The women charged—Samantha Barbash, Roselyn Keo, Karina Pascucci and Marsi Rosen—would troll upscale bars and restaurants looking for men of means—doctors, lawyers, Wall Street executives, according to prosecutors.

“Once a mark was found, they would then arrange a ‘date’ at another upscale restaurant or lounge.

“At this point, they would drug the men.

“‘Working together, the defendants used drugs or a mixture of drugs to intoxicate the victims, including ketamine (a tranquilizer), methylone (commonly sold as “molly”), and cocaine,’ according to a statement released by the prosecutor’s office.

The indictment would seem to vindicate Younan. According to Scores, however, Younan visited the club three times. If he got home from the first night out with the gang and couldn’t remember anything, why did he decide to reprise it? And if he has no memory of going to the club, what did he imagine himself to be doing those nights?

Other questions remain unresolved, too: Which will come first, the movie or the cable series? Would you rather see the Harmony Korine version or the David O. Russell version? Or the Quentin Tarantino version, in which the strippers are a sassy band of vigilantes using the base appetites of wealthy alpha males to humiliate them?

And, finally, will there ever be an alibi considered unbelievable after this? Credit card fraud investigators tempted to scoff at improbable explanations for exorbitant charges—or skeptical spouses who might before have rolled their eyes hearing that their significant other “just can’t remember” how he (or perhaps she) came to pass an evening dispensing thousands of dollars while being unwittingly plied with ketamine and cocaine by exotic dancers—they now have to concede that, in fact, such things do happen. If credibility were a currency—and it is—Zimbabwean dollars would now be as good as gold. After all, there may be other bands of tranquilizer-wielding predatory strippers out there, just waiting for us to let down our guard.

Bennett_190
Bennett is a staff writer for Bloomberg Businessweek in New York.

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