Massage parlor owner faces federal indictment

Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The owner of a massage parlor and a check cashing company has been indicted by a federal grand jury on more than 100 felony counts, including charges of running a prostitution ring, loan-sharking and distributing crack and cocaine.

Bruno Bordonici, 61, owner of Oriental Massage Parlor and International Check Cashing was indicted on 102 charges, including 67 counts of using an interstate facility for a racketeering enterprise, 21 counts of distributing a controlled substance and three counts of ''debt collection by extortionate means.'' He also faces weapons counts and charges of conspiracy, money laundering and possession of stolen mail.

Also indicted were Bordonici's brother Ramiz Bordonici, who is accused of taking over Oriental Massage after Bruno Bordonici was arrested on state drug charges in November, and Irene Smithson, who is accused of taking over the business from Ramiz Bordonici for a period in April.

Bruno Bordonici is being held without bail. Smithson is being held on $100,000 bail. Ramiz Bordonici is at large.

Federal prosecutor Stephen Cooper said prosecutors have been building the case since last year. Bruno Bordonici was arrested in November on state charges of drugs and weapons misconduct, as well as promoting prostitution. The state dropped the charges in April in lieu of the larger case planned by federal prosecutors.

The federal drug charges against say Bruno Bordonici distributed both cocaine and crack cocaine from March 1998 through November 2000, mostly in 20-gram amounts.

The counts of using an interstate facility in aid of a racketeering enterprise stem from allegations that Bruno Bordonici made 57 bank deposits of money earned from prostitution or narcotics sales. Cooper said the involvement of a federally insured bank made charges possible despite prostitution not being a federal offense.

Bordonici is charged with possessing money on three occasions last September and October that had been stolen from U.S. mail, including one check for almost $20,000.

The debt collection charges accuse Bruno Bordonici of making threats to collect on debts.

The conspiracy count charges all three defendants with colluding to run a prostitution ring. According to the indictment, Ramiz Bordonici moved into the massage parlor following Bruno Bordonici's arrest and began running the alleged prostitution ring with the help of almost-daily phone calls from his brother at the Fairbanks Correctional Facility.

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