Fairbanks woman pleads guilty to prostitution conspiracy charge

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks woman has pleaded guilty to conspiring with a massage parlor owner to run a prostitution ring out of the facility.

Irene Smithson, 48, was indicted with two others in a 124-count federal case that primarily targets Bruno Bordonici, who owns the Oriental Massage Parlor.

Smithson was charged with one count of conspiracy to use interstate facilities in conduct of a racketeering exercise, to which she agreed to plead guilty Tuesday morning. She faces a maximum of five years in prison.

Smithson was named in only one count of the indictment, while Bordonici was named in all 124 counts. His brother, Ramiz Bordonici, was named in two.

A 102-count indictment was handed down in June, with the rest of the charges added in September. It charges Bruno Bordonici, the owner of International Check Cashing as well as the massage parlor, with loan-sharking, money laundering, distributing crack and cocaine and running a prostitution ring.

Bordonici faces 67 counts of using an interstate facility to aid in a racketeering enterprise, 24 counts of money laundering, 22 counts of distributing a controlled substance, and three counts of debt collection by extortion. He also faces the conspiracy charge as well as firearms charges and charges of perjury and possession of stolen mail.

Ramiz Bordonici was indicted on the conspiracy charge, as well as one count of money laundering.

The charges against Bruno Bordonici date from January 1998 to November 2000, when he was arrested on state charges. Those charges were later dropped in lieu of the federal ones. The conspiracy charge originates from the actions taken by Ramiz Bordonici and Smithson after Bruno Bordonici's arrest.

According to the indictment, Ramiz Bordonici moved into the Oriental Massage Parlor and began managing the alleged prostitution ring. Bruno Bordonici reportedly assisted in the operation through phone calls placed almost daily from the Fairbanks Correctional Center. During this time Smithson, who had begun working at the parlor in January 2001, allegedly assisted in its operation as well.

According to court documents, Ramiz Bordonici shot a Fairbanks man during a confrontation in the massage parlor lobby in March. Charges were not pressed after a grand jury ruled the shooting was in self-defense, but Ramiz Bordonici fled the area shortly after the shooting and is now reportedly in Europe.

According to the indictment, Smithson took over management of the parlor and the alleged prostitution ring.

Smithson, who is in custody, will be sentenced Jan. 7.

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