Ex-NYPD Vice Squad Detective Ludwig Paz Gets Up to 12 Years for Running Gambling and Prostitution Ops

Posted on: July 3, 2019, 04:49h. 

Last updated on: July 3, 2019, 04:49h.

A former NYPD Vice Enforcement Division detective who ran a multimillion-dollar gambling and prostitution ring was sentenced four to 12 years in prison Tuesday, after taking a plea deal to “save his family,” according to his defense lawyer. Ludwig Paz’s wife, Arelis Peralta, and two daughters, Jarelis and Arisbel Guzman, were indicted along with the disgraced former cop, who used his police connections to protect his operations for years.

Ludwig Paz
Ludwig Paz faced sentencing in a Manhattan court room on Tuesday. The ex NYPD detective used his police connections in the vice squad to help protect his own family-run vice business. (Image: Ellis Kaplan/NYP)

In May, the 51-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted enterprise corruption and one count of promoting prostitution. Peralta pleaded guilty to two counts of enterprise corruption and was sentenced to 364 days in prison.

Outside the courtroom on Tuesday, Defense lawyer Frank Kelly told the New York Post that Paz had accept the deal in order to cut time from his wife’s sentence.

Paz’s daughters were facing conditional charges for promoting prostitution after it was alleged that they helped out with the family business, but the charges were dropped as part of his plea deal.

“He took responsibility. He got more time than we originally had worked out in order to save his wife and his two daughters,” said Kelly. “He did it for his family. He did the right thing by his family.”

Beauty Salon Racket

Previously, the court heard that Paz had run a numbers racket and seven brothels from beauty salons in and other locations in Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island. The prostitution ring pulled in more than $2 million in just over a year, which the couple splurged on vacations in South America and expensive cars.

Paz was assisted in running his business by seven active-duty police officers, who acted as informers, tipping him off about potential raids and providing descriptions of undercover agents.

Paz paid Brooklyn South Vice Detective Samaniego, who is awaiting sentencing, $500 a week to serve as his “primary informant,” according to court documents.

The corrupt cops also received a discount at his brothels in return for protection.

Undercover Surveillance

NYPD began an investigation into the operation in 2015 after suspicions were aroused that someone in the Vice Enforcement Division had connections to criminal operations. The case was slow-moving because of the need to prevent corrupt police from realizing their cover had been blown.

As his fear of undercover surveillance grew, Paz insisted the brothel’s clients strip naked and be fondled before they passed security, believing that an active police officer would never expose his genitals in the line of duty.

His wife, who has served her sentence, was in court with the couple’s 12-year-old son, who has learning difficulties. She wept as the sentence was read out.

“I want to apologize to the court, the DA’s Office and the NYPD for my wrongful actions. I deeply regret them,” Paz told the judge. “I want to apologize and say sorry and ask for forgiveness to my family for my actions and all the pain and suffering that I’ve caused them.”