Prostitutes Steal Millions and Walk Free
Illustration by Mitch O'Connell
Scott Rosen thought he had sealed the deal when the pretty blond 20-something got up to use the bathroom. The 55-year-old with a receding hairline and freshly pressed shirt downed a $12 vodka cranberry as he waited for his target to slink back to the wicker sofa he occupied on the patio of YOLO, a tony restaurant on Fort Lauderdale's Las Olas Boulevard.
It was almost 2 a.m. — closing time at the nightspot — and the white noise of postparty plans and meaningless bar banter filled the otherwise quiet Saturday night. The table was adorned with a candle, and Rosen's trademark custom Rolex reflected the flame into a brilliant gold mosaic.
Rosen, whose taut, wiry frame resembles that of Sopranos wiseguy Uncle Paulie, would never speak to that blond again. "In about 30 seconds flat," Rosen recalls, a different woman joined him on the wicker sofa. The striking, five-foot-six Rihanna look-alike wore her long, curly hair pulled to one side. Moments later, she beckoned a blond bombshell in a light-blue dress.
Rosen wasn't much interested in Rihanna, but the fair-haired, lithe one was just his type. He didn't want to show his cards too quickly, though, so he issued an invitation. "Hey, do you guys want to go have a drink at my private bar?" he asked.
Then Rosen turned to his bodyguard of eight years, Scott Hostler. "Bring up the car," he said. Soon the white Cadillac DTS with a license plate reading RUTHLES rolled into the circular driveway outside YOLO. As Rosen clambered into the back seat with the girls, the only thing the blinged-out bachelor could think about was what would happen back at his waterfront condo once they peeped his 60-foot yacht.
Conversation was minimal. The Rihanna look-alike, who had introduced herself as "Crystal," chattered a bit, but the blond wasn't much of a talker.
After a 20-minute drive up I-95, they stopped in his driveway. With a wink and a nod, Rosen sent home his gun-strapped bodyguard; then the three headed inside. Hey, I'm a single guy, he reasoned with his four-drink-deep brain. What's the worst that could happen?
After Hostler left, Crystal asked for a tour of Rosen's boat, Chandelle, which was docked outside. LED lights on the deck railings twinkled like diamonds as they reflected off the Intracoastal.
In the house, the blond took a cigar from the kitchenette and lit up. She then proceeded to the living room, where she pulled a bottle of Ketel One from the bar and mixed three cocktails. Ten minutes passed. Rosen and Crystal ambled up the 20-foot grassy patch that led to a large sliding glass door and joined the blond in the living room.
The last thing Rosen remembers is sinking into the sofa's black leather. After what seemed like seconds, the inside of his eyelids burned red from the light seeping into the master bedroom. He awoke with a start at 9:30 a.m. — far later than normal — to find himself alone and fully clothed. The only thing he wasn't wearing from the night before was his diamond-encrusted Rolex, an accessory that had been replaced by a bump on his forehead. Upon searching his home, he found several other things missing: a Smith & Wesson snub-nose revolver, two Glock 9mm handguns, and three 3.5-carat marquise diamonds. In total, he was out close to $318,000 in swag.
The story of Crystal and her cohort, along with two other women, made headlines around the world last summer. Police said four women had ripped off dozens of men during a yearlong crime spree, which most notably included taking almost a half-million dollars from a 350-pound NFL defensive tackle.
This past June, Subhanna Beyah, AKA Crystal, the 25-year-old ringleader of the foxy female thieves, was arrested and charged with ripping off 13 men and making off with $1,281,769 in jewelry, guns, cash, and property including a Cadillac Escalade. Two other women — 25-year-old Johninna Miller and 27-year-old Keshia Clark — were arrested for their participation in the scam and have subsequently bonded out. Ryan Elkins, the daughter of a police chief and the girl who mixed Rosen's Ketel One, is on the lam.
Beyah, interviewed in jail, says she's innocent. The chameleon of a woman — who has appeared in 15 South Florida mug shots with just as many hairstyles — says her knowledge of YOLO is limited to the Drake lyric.
And though the evidence at first glance seems overwhelming, she just might get away with it. The reason: Most of the men involved — including New York Giants tackle Shaun Rogers — who originally reported the thefts have backed off rather than testify in court. All that remain are Scott Rosen and another man, who claims the pair took him for about $30,000. "God forbid some pimp comes after me," Rosen says. "But I'm ready."
Before Rosen decides to move forward, though, he might do well to study the case of John Bolaris. The 53-year-old was the highest-paid TV weatherman in Philadelphia, earning $540,000 per year delivering forecasts on Fox 29, when he encountered an organized crime ring of Eastern European women in 2010. Each year after sweeps week in late March, he and his buddy Chris Wragge would head to South Florida for a three-day golf trip — using Wragge's CBS Sports credentials to hit the most exclusive links. "Just single guys in Miami having fun," Bolaris now says of the pilgrimage.
But on March 27, 2010, Wragge had to cancel at the last minute when his boss asked him to cover the NCAA basketball championship. Bolaris, who had already purchased a plane ticket, decided to fly solo. When he reached South Beach, he hit his mainstay — the swanky Delano Hotel — for dinner. It was the spot he had frequented during the 20 years he spent covering hurricanes in Florida, and he almost always ran into someone he knew there. At the Delano, the raw bar is set up as a long communal dining table, and across from him that Saturday night sat two exotic, dark-haired beauties taking cell-phone photos of themselves. Tourists, he thought as he munched on hamachi, salmon, and a bit of toro that he washed down with some miso soup.
Next, he moved to a dimly lit outdoor area with a life-size chess set and an infinity pool. Bolaris, a bespectacled man wearing a sensible outfit of jeans and a white button-down with a $15,000 Breitling watch, noticed the two women had followed him. But he paid them no mind as he sat in a poolside cabana with a $17 cocktail and another young woman.
Suddenly, Marina Vladimira Turcina and Anna Kilimatova came up behind him, massaged his shoulders, and goaded him to take a shot. After Bolaris refused multiple times, the women tilted his head back and forced a fruity-flavored concoction down his throat, he says.
"Guess where we're from?" Bolaris recalls the cute yet sophisticated Europeans asking in unison.
"I don't know. Poland?" the divorced TV personality asked, feeling a little disoriented but also attracted to the women he would later describe as girl-next-door types.
Turcina, who was 24, and Kilimatova, 25, plied him with compliments. "You are the weather presenter, no?" one asked.
"Well, I don't have my radar with me right now," he remembers responding.
Bolaris didn't know he was being targeted by two of the ten Eastern European women who had traveled to the United States on fraudulent visas to work as professional sirens on South Beach.
Referred to as b-girls (or bottle girls) by the FBI, they would stake out watering holes in the area, pick up unsuspecting men, and ask them to stop for one more drink on the way home. They would then lure the men to one of six traps on Washington Avenue, where a $5 bottle of champagne might cost $1,000. Time after time, the b-girls' endgame was getting tourists to order as much alcohol as possible. They would hide the menus or knock them off tables if their targets inquired about the prices. Women such as Turcina and Kilimatova would get 20 percent of whatever they squeezed out of their victims.
On the way back to Bolaris' room at the Fontainebleau Hotel, Turcina and Kilimatova asked him to go to a Haiti relief benefit held at a place called Caviar Bar. He remembers exiting the cab, that the windows were blacked out, and not much else.
Next thing he knew for sure, he was alone in his hotel suite with a mysterious painting of a woman's head. He had no idea how much he had paid for it. He had only the vaguest memory of signing three checks. Geez, that's embarrassing, he thought, chalking up his memory lapse to drinking too much and not having eaten enough.
He somehow agreed to a second meeting and blacked out again at Caviar Bar, where Turcina would later testify that Bolaris had defecated in his pants because he couldn't hold his liquor. It was only two weeks later when he learned about the $16,517.37 and $27,194.88 charges to his American Express card. The painting he didn't remember buying had cost him $2,480.
Bolaris had no recollection of these purchases. And it turns out there were dozens of men in similar positions. After he reported the crime, the FBI began investigating and soon identified 88 alleged victims through credit card records. But when authorities began contacting them, few wanted to press charges. "They are willing to take the financial hit to save face," says Tamara Lave, a University of Miami professor specializing in criminal law. "Maybe when they first filed the report, they were angry. Time passes and they don't want to go through the embarrassment of the trial process. They don't want to be cross-examined."
In the end, only a handful of men testified, including Bolaris and a magician from Las Vegas named Brett Daniels.
Ultimately, the man who ran Caviar Bar, Stan Pavlenko, was sentenced to 78 months in prison. Turnica and Kilimatova pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They both got credit for time served, spent three years on supervised release, and paid $44,605.05 and $15,454.99, respectively, in restitution.
Asked if he regrets coming forward to report the b-girls, Bolaris gives an excruciating 15-second pause before admitting, "Yes." He was fired from his job on Christmas Eve 2012 ten minutes before airtime. His friends abandoned him, and his daughter, Sophie, was just about the age when she could Google her daddy's name and see headlines such as "Real-Life The Hangover Destroys Horny Philadelphia Weather Man's Life."
"It was the worst time of my professional life and the worst time of my personal life, apart from my parents passing away," he tells New Times. He says he's speaking from a secluded corner of a gym where he works out because he "can't trust anyone."
"I've been the butt of jokes, been taken away from what I love to do, and made my little girl highly upset." He says the 7-year-old had to go to therapy and would ask her psychologist week after week: "What really happened with Daddy and those two women?"
Bolaris says he spent three years fighting American Express to get the charges rescinded. He got the money back, but he's learned some lessons along the way. "Make sure you're very aware of your surroundings, leave your credit card at home, and beware of overly friendly people," he says. "And never hang by yourself in Miami."
Subhanna Beyah wants to charm you, even when she's dressed in prison garb and behind glass at the Paul Rein Detention Facility in Pompano Beach. Asked about her case, Beyah laughs like an anime character and almost comes off as shy.
But when pressed, she goes full Jedi. "The charges against me are ridiculous," she asserts while lowering her head and glaring with her mesmerizing eyes. "You know what I'm saying?"
Rihanna, Beyah says, is her idol because "she doesn't care what people think about her." Although her skin is pocked with acne after six months behind bars, she tries her best to maintain appearances. For example: Though she was forced to remove a piercing in her left eyebrow, she's found a makeshift, prison-approved replacement in a comb's tooth.
She was born in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York and raised by her grandmother, Ameenah Beyah. She has Saudi Arabian roots on her father's side, she says, and is a devout Muslim. She keeps a copy of the Koran in her cell. She doesn't like to talk about herself much, though she says her best attribute is that she "doesn't judge others." She blushes when describing her children, who are 1 and 7 years old.
Beyah paints herself as a music lover. She started a recording business, Diversity Records, in 2011. It was just taking off when, she says, the cops pinned a string of robberies on her — though she had done nothing. She won't name the one artist on her record label's roster for fear of damaging his reputation. Although she's vague, she claims to have worked with some of South Florida's biggest hip-hop stars, including Haitian rapper Billy Blue and the Teflon Don himself, Rick Ross (whose agent, Gabriel Tesoriero, didn't respond to requests for comment).
Although there are no news stories about or social media presence for Diversity Records, Florida state records show Beyah was the owner of a company by that name, which was registered to a hotel suite at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. She has the name of Opa-locka rapper Brisco tattooed on her hand, but she refuses to say why. (Brisco's manager, Jit, has never heard of Beyah or Diversity Records. "She must just be a very big fan," he says after phoning the "Bitch, I'm From Dade County" rapper for confirmation. "As far as we know, that's where it stops.")
Beyah also believes the cops are out to get her ("They think all black people look the same"), the johns aren't innocent ("They act like they're all angels and I'm the Devil, but no one asks what they were doing bringing women back to their places"), and the charges against her are ridiculous ("If I just stole a half a million dollars' worth of jewelry, I'd be in the freakin' South of France!).
Though Beyah is angry that the Broward Sheriff's Office has painted her as a criminal mastermind, her track record proves she's no stranger to the kind of misconduct she's been accused of in South Florida. In 2009, New York police accused her of working with two accomplices and scamming close to 50 men, some of whom were high-powered attorneys and New York University professors. In the end, though, she was convicted only of luring one man to an ATM, watching as he punched in his PIN, and then picking the card from his pocket inside a cab. She served 207 days at Rikers Island.
In 2012, Beyah moved the scam to South Florida. One of her first targets was 33-year-old Sergio Montesinos, who consumed a legendary amount of alcohol July 29. The Spanish national says he began his vacation in Miami at Nikki Beach and drank until 11 p.m. He napped at the Delano Hotel and woke at 2 a.m. to resume the party, popping bottles until almost 11 a.m. at Club Space. Then he stumbled into a taxi that was serendipitously waiting right outside the venue's entrance at NE 11th Street.
Beyah hopped into the cab without asking permission, he later told police. Rather than recoil, Montesinos laughed. She explained she was a Canadian college student on vacation in Florida and rode back to the Delano with him.
Once they arrived, Beyah poured Montesinos a whiskey from the room's minibar. She then told him to take off his watch and get more comfortable. He fell asleep as she began to rub cream on his chest and woke up about an hour later to notice his Daytona Rolex, worth 20,000 euros, missing, along with 2,400 euros in cash that he had stashed in the room's safe. The faceplate of the vault had been ripped clean off. Although cops identified Beyah by a lipstick print left on a glass in the room, the state took no action in the case. Montesinos never got his watch or his cash back.
"It was a lesson to say, 'Don't be in Miami with your lovely Rolex showing off and ordering bottles,'" Montesinos warns. "In my country I can do that, but obviously you cannot in Miami."
It was around this time when Beyah apparently met Ryan Elkins, a 23-year-old Staten Island native with no residual accent and no remorse. She was born the daughter of a New York City Police detective named Jeff and began sneaking out of the house to party at age 16.
She was brainwashed by a pimp named Prince, her parents say. In July 2011, she traveled to Miami as part of a rehabilitation program for sex-trafficked youths. It didn't work. Elkins had a son with Prince in June 2012.
Elkins began stealing Rolexes soon after. Her first attempt did not go as planned.
In September 2012, Ryan Elkins and another woman met two brothers, Steve and Conrad Mitchell, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood. The men, who lived in Aventura, suggested they get a room at the Hyatt in Dania Beach. There, Elkins tried to give Steve a massage. As he lay on the bed, she suggested he take off his Rolex. When he refused multiple times, Elkins removed it without asking and placed it on a nearby nightstand.
After a short while, she stopped abruptly and claimed she needed something to eat. She ran out of the room. Moments later, Steve noticed his watch was gone and chased after her, past his brother and the other woman, who were sitting on a couch in the living room. Cops caught up with Elkins in front of a nearby hotel and threw her into a patrol car with the other woman, who had stayed behind at the Hyatt.
"Don't worry," Elkins told her, according to the police report. "They've got nothing on us. Just don't say anything. They won't find anything."
"When they run my name, they'll find out I'm here illegally," said the other woman, who was never charged with a crime.
Elkins felt a twinge of guilt. "If we give back the watch, will you let my friend go?" she asked the cops before removing it from her vagina. She was released on $5,000 bond and failed to show up at court hearings afterward.
"As a parent, it's a sad, sad story," Ryan Elkins' father told New Times before declining to comment further, claiming emotional exhaustion.
Soon, Elkins and Beyah began working as a team in Fort Lauderdale, records show. They trolled a strip of upscale lounges on Las Olas Boulevard. A victim — who asked not to be named or even described in this story for fear of professional embarrassment — remembers meeting them at YOLO one night in February 2013 around 10 p.m.
He noticed Beyah when she was being rude to the bartender. "Be a little more civil," he remembers imploring her before she apologized. She and Elkins sidled up to him and began chatting, he says. He had been drinking since 6 that night, he says, and his brain was already a little cloudy.
Eventually, an employee at YOLO stopped the man on his way out of the bathroom. "Be careful," the employee said. "I think those girls are hookers."
So upon sitting back down, he straight-up asked them: "Hey, are you guys hookers?"
His question was met with laughter. Beyah bought her soon-to-be victim a cocktail. "Hookers don't buy drinks," she said as she placed it on the bar.
Apparently convinced, he took the women back to his place nearby after stopping to pick up an expensive bottle of champagne on the way. Beyah poured drinks. Her victim took only a sip or two before she crashed on his bed and Elkins retreated to the bathroom. When Elkins came out, she was naked. She pulled her target into the shower, and the two began kissing.
"I didn't have sex with her, but I felt her up," he recalls.
Next thing he knew, he felt woozy. He remembers Beyah and Elkins saying they needed to get something from their car and they'd be right back.
He woke up several times throughout the night. At one point, he noticed his $25,000 Rolex Daytona was missing from his wrist. Still, he was practically paralyzed. It took a few hours for him to realize his $14,500 Rolex Explorer II was gone as well. He called police, who showed up around 4 a.m., but then slept through their arrival. He would ultimately be knocked out for almost 20 hours.
After being swindled for almost 40 grand, the man says he won't look at hook-up culture the same way again. "I took an introspective sort of look at myself and stopped drinking for a while," he says. "I needed to reevaluate things."
He can understand why others are reluctant to cooperate with police. "It's an embarrassing thing," he says. "All my friends know."
This past June, Beyah met Shaun Rogers, a 34-year-old defensive tackle for the New York Giants who earns $433,000 a year, at the Fontainebleau nightclub LIV, according to police.
The two partied until the early hours of the morning and then headed to nearby Jerry's Deli with a posse of Rogers' friends. The group ended up back at the athlete's hotel room around 7 a.m. That's where, police say, Beyah drugged her victim and opened the room's safe.
According to a report filed with the Miami Beach Police Department, she took almost $500,000 worth of jewelry — including $100,000 in diamond earrings and a $100,000 Audemars Piguet wristwatch.
New York State Police detectives arrested her in Queens June 28. Miami Beach Police Det. Grant Reid flew north and interviewed her. According to a taped transcript, the conversation went this way:
Detective Reid: Why did you leave Miami?
Beyah: Because when I heard about the Shaun Rogers thing on the news, I knew you would be looking for me.
Reid: Just tell us where the jewelry is so we can return it to Shaun, please.
Beyah: You won't be able to get it back.
Reid: Why not?
Beyah: You just won't.
Reid: How do you know the watch is real when you steal it?
Beyah: It's hard.
Reid: Do they feel the same, like weight?
Beyah: Some of the really good fake ones are heavy. You have to open that shit up. Then it's like all plastic on the inside.
Reid: You know you're in some very serious trouble, right?
Beyah: I don't care. I have been in the system since I was 14. I am prepared to do five years on this. I'm going to get a bad-ass attorney and fight it through.
Beyah didn't have to fight anything in that case, though. Cops talked to Rogers only once after the robbery, in September.
Rogers — who has also played for the New Orleans Saints, the Detroit Lions, and the Cleveland Browns — has made headlines in the past. In 2007, a stripper from Detroit accused the six-foot-four, 350-pound player of sexual assault. (Charges were never filed due to lack of evidence.) Three years later, in 2010, he was arrested at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport for carrying a loaded gun in his luggage.
Rogers never spoke to the media about either of those incidents, and his agent, Kennard McGuire, did not respond to requests for comment about the alleged run-in with Beyah. This past December 18, the state was forced to drop all charges because he insisted on remaining silent. A spokesman for the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office said the agency had tried and failed to reach Rogers at his NFL training camp in New Jersey and at his home in Texas.
Moreover, Beyah claims she was framed and didn't even know about the robbery until a friend called her and said she was all over the news. She then Googled Rogers and was shocked to see her name pop up in the search results.
"I've never seen [Elkins] in my life," she says. "And I had never heard of Shaun Rogers until this. Do I look like I care about football? I care about music."
With Rogers abandoning the case, there just aren't many plaintiffs left. Scott Rosen, the Pompano Beach playboy taken for $318,000, is determined to push ahead with the case. "What is it, like 30 or 40 times you gotta rob people before you go to prison?" he says. "They need to be monitored, these girls."
The fact that Beyah is still facing up to 20 years in prison for violating probation in Miami isn't enough for Rosen, who seems shaken by his encounter. Interviewed recently in his beige-tiled, spartan living room in Pompano Beach, he lifts a golf polo shirt to show the gun he carries on his right hip. He says he now keeps a weapon in every room of his home and on his boat.
The encounter with the two prostitutes, he says, could have killed him. The cocktail that Elkins mixed was potentially lethal. "People say it's not a violent crime," he says. "But what if I was taking some kind of medication? I could have had a drug overdose."
Detectives working the case, he insists, "are not diligent enough." To date, only one victim has recovered any jewelry.
A few months ago, Rosen adds, he was at the courthouse with a detective who was working the case for the Broward Sheriff's Office when he saw a woman he thought looked like Elkins. He panicked. "I had her pulled out of the elevator," Rosen says. "But it wasn't her."
After about 15 minutes of tense conversation, Rosen relaxes, running his palms against the legs of his light-wash jeans. He sprawls out on a barstool as he invites a reporter to lunch with him, his brother, and his niece. "You have to understand," he says to explain away his jumpiness, "a robbery took place here. You can't trust anyone."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.