In 2013, a wealthy cardiologist went on three dates with a young woman who claimed to be a nursing student. Each morning following the dates, he woke up with limited memory of the evening before. After date No. 3, he received a call from his credit card fraud department flagging $135,000 worth of charges at a New York City gentlemen’s club. Following a sting operation, authorities unraveled the details of an extraordinary scam led by former strippers who secretly drugged and robbed wealthy men, and the cardiologist who said a substance was slipped into his drink on the dates, causing him to lose memory. The women involved in the scam were the source of inspiration for this year’s hit movie, “Hustlers,” and “20/20” features interviews with two of them, Roselyn “Rosie” Keo and Karina Pascucci, and cardiologist Dr. Zyad Younan. The hour also includes interviews with Jennifer Lopez and Cardi B, stars of “Hustlers.” “20/20” airs Saturday, Dec. 14 (10:00 – 11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC.
“20/20” features interviews with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents Agent Eric Triana and Agent James Mannick as well as NYPD detective Danny Politowski who helped carry out a sting operation at a luxury hotel. Their hidden cameras caught some of these women on tape in sting footage.
Following the 2008 financial crisis, the gentleman’s club scene changed and dancers claim they had to go to more extreme lengths to get wealthy men, whom they dubbed “sharks,” into the clubs where they worked in order to get them to spend large sums of money. The group of women, including Keo and Pascucci, went to high-profile hotels and bars to target sharks. After chatting with the men, they would try to lure them back to the gentlemen’s clubs where the women could receive a cut of the money they spent. The men didn’t realize that, during the course of the night, their drinks were spiked with drugs and thousands of dollars in charges were racked up without their full knowledge.
The investigation of law enforcement, with the help of Dr. Younan and with evidence from the sting operation, eventually lead to the arrest of Keo, Pascucci and others, who pleaded guilty to a number of felony charges. Keo received probation and no jail time. Pascucci received six months of weekends in jail and probation. (Rebroadcast. ABC OAD: 9/13/19)
“20/20” is anchored by David Muir and Amy Robach. David Sloan is senior executive producer.