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Prostitution ringleader in Spitzer scandal pleads guilty

  • Story Highlights
  • Head of prostitution ring linked to former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer pleads guilty
  • Mark Brener managed call-girl ring that charged thousands of dollars for trysts
  • Spitzer hasn't been charged in connection with the ring
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- The leader of the prostitution ring which numbered former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer among its clients entered a guilty plea in federal court Thursday.

Mark Brener, 62, of Cliffside Park, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges relating to his involvement in the Emperors Club VIP. He is expected to serve between two and two-and-a-half years in prison.

Brener became a promoter and manager of the ring -- which charged between $1,000 and $5,500 an hour for trysts in New York; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; London, England; and Paris, France -- in December 2004, prosecutors said. Police seized more than $1 million in cash from his apartment at the time of his arrest.

Spitzer resigned in March after it was revealed that he was among the Emperors Club's patrons. Court documents detailed arrangements for a nearly two-and-a-half hour rendezvous between Client-9 and a high-class prostitute identified as "Kristen" at the Mayflower hotel in Washington, D.C., in February. Client-9 was later revealed to be Spitzer.

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  • Guilty plea in Spitzer call-girl scandal

Spitzer was linked to the ring when IRS and FBI officials noticed suspicious transfers of larger sums of money between several of the governor's personal accounts, sources told CNN. Those sources say red flags were raised when the money ended up in the bank accounts of shell companies linked to the prostitution ring.

Brener's sentencing is set for September 16. Spitzer has not been charged in connection with the ring.

CNN's Mythili Rao contributed to this report.

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