A federal jury in Miami today convicted three men who ran the ring of "bar girls" who swindled TV weatherman John Bolaris of more than $43,000.
Said Bolaris in an email to Philly.com: "Finally end of trial ..Bad guys go away !!"
Bolaris was on his annual pilgrimage to Florida to soak up the sun in the spring of 2010 when two blue-eyed beauties approached him in a Miami Beach restaurant.
During the Miami trial, Bolaris described them as "very cutesy, like the girls next door ... the kind of girls you'd like to marry," according to the Miami Herald.
He bought them wine. They reciprocated, serving him shots of strong liquor. In one of those shots, they allegedly slipped him a mickey. What happened next remains unclear.
When Bolaris woke from his stupor in the back of a cab, he was stained with wine, nursing a headache, and in possession of a "huge painting of a woman's head," he told Daily News reporter David Gambacorta. That's not all he had. During the escapade, massive charges were rung up on his credit cards.
The next night, Bolaris met up with the women - and again they drugged him, he testified. Several days later he discovered $43,000 in art, caviar and champagne had been rung up on his American Express.
Bolaris wasn't special. He was victim No. 88, according to federal prosecutors.
On Thursday, the Miami jury reached unanimous verdicts against three of the women's bosses on a score of conspiracy, wire fraud, and money laundering charges following an 11-week trial. A fourth defendant was acquitted.
The judge ordered Stanislav Pavlenko, Albert Takhalov and Isaac Feldman - who oversaw more than 18 women - to be taken into custody immediately because, the Miami Herald said, he found that they gave testimony "I didn't believe was honest."
Alec "Oleg" Simchuk, a man the Herald described as "the puppet master behind the scam" testified against his former partners in October, admitting in his plea agreement that his organization ran up nearly $1 million in phony bills on their marks' credit cards. He is expected to be sentenced Friday.