What will now-resigned New York Governor Eliot Spitzer be charged with? To begin, prostitution is illegal except in a select few jurisdictions, Nevada being one of them.
Spitzer could be charged under the 1910 Mann Act, which was intended to fight prostitution and “debauchery.” The law’s official name is the White Slave Traffic Act, but it is typically referred to by the name of its author, Rep. James R. Mann.
Because Spitzer arranged and paid for a prostitute to travel across state lines, the crime becomes federal, which increases the penalty Spitzer may face. While most analysts believe he will not face jail time, he could face fines.
Spitzer could also be charged for money laundering, since he divided up the payments he made to the Emperor’s Club, the sex club where he reportedly spent more than $80,000 on call girls. He allegedly also asked his bank to take the name of the payee, the Emperor’s Club, off the payments so he wouldn’t get caught. That’s when the bank alerted the authorities.
Money laundering is often prosecuted under the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires financial institutions to report suspicious transactions to the government…which is how Spitzer was caught. Four people from the Emperor’s Club have already been arrested and charged with conspiracy to money launder more than $1 million in prostitution earnings.
In Spitzer’s case, he could be charged with trying to hide his illegal transactions by dividing up payments and trying to change the name on the payments.
Tags: Bank Secrecy Act, Eliot Spitzer, Emperor's Club, federal crime, illegal prostitution, IRS, Mann Act, money laundering, prostitution, White Slave Traffic Act