By Terrence McCoy
By Scott Fishman
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Allie Conti
By New Times Staff
By Ryan Pfeffer
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Kyle Swenson
Intent on snaring Vanmoor with the same RICO charges he had avoided in 1998, Fort Lauderdale police in 2000 renewed their investigation of his businesses with vigor.
They were in for some surprises. Twice in 2001, when police sent undercover officers to meet with Vanmoor, an affidavit shows, he answered the door wearing only bikini underwear.
And according to detective Spodnick's report, police determined that, after his release from jail in 1999, Vanmoor had used the identity of a Fort Lauderdale cop, Brian Dodge, to open various merchant accounts at area banks. He then used those accounts to process Visa, Mastercard, and American Express card charges. According to Spodnick, "a review of the account activity during this time showed an average of just over $100,000 a month was being transferred into this account from the Visa and Mastercard transactions" processed under Dodge's name. Vanmoor, police allege, also created two Florida corporations associated with the cop's name that were actually escort agencies.
On September 21, 2002, Lauderdale police showed up uninvited at Florence Dating Service, located at 100 E. Sample Rd. The cops allegedly found employee files with photocopies of women's driver's licenses and comments from Vanmoor regarding applicants' first visits. Records of "calls for service" and credit card slips were discovered.
According to Spodnick, cops also uncovered a list of escorts' "Rules and Regulations." Hours of operation, fees, and processing of credit cards were covered. Also included were directives stating that escorts were not to spend more than 45 minutes with a customer and that a client should be allowed to ejaculate only once per session. Then there was rule number seven, which read, "You have to suck dick without a condom. For the other stuff you can use it if you wish. But absolutely not on the sucking."
Vanmoor wasn't arrested until June 2003, after Fort Lauderdale police decided there was enough evidence to make the charges stick. Yet even while he sat in jail, police allege, he continued to run his escort businesses. That same month, they arrested Cintia Russman, who had initially been charged with RICO/conspiracy along with Vanmoor but was eventually released on $50,000 bond. Police allege Vanmoor paid to get her out of jail so she could "immediately return to work as an escort" and "repay the $5,000 in cash (10 percent of the bond amount) that was paid as her bond."
When police realized what Vanmoor was doing, they moved to have phone service terminated to his various businesses. He also ran afoul of his landlords, who moved to have him evicted from his oceanfront estate at 1085 Hillsboro Mile after a check bounced. At one point last year, he was two months in arrears -- to the tune of $37,825, including late fees -- court records show.
Authorities recently allege that he falsified his green card application, and they threatened to deport him. He posted $750,000 bond in criminal court in July, was ordered to surrender his passport, and was transferred to immigration-authority custody at Krome Detention Center in Miami. In September, the Broward State's Attorney's Office asked a judge to revoke Vanmoor's bond. The judge agreed. Soon, Vanmoor will face a jury of his peers.
Broward County's escort business is brazenly high-profile. Advertisements (including those in the back of this newspaper) matter-of-factly promise release and satisfaction to any guy with $200 and a hard-on. While the ads pledge pampering and pleasure, life on the providing side is often dangerous and demeaning.
A large percentage of the local working-girl pool has had some contact with Vanmoor's business. "When girls come over here," rival escort service owner Jack Perry says, "on their applications, we ask, 'Where have you worked?' And more often than not, they write down 'Arthur the Asshole' or something like that."
After a reporter's query, Perry calls back and permits a phone interview with one of his current girls who claims she once worked for Vanmoor. "We'll call her Susan right now," says Perry, handing the phone over to a young woman who says she started working for the Dutchman in 1999, when she was 19. Before another line rings and she's called for duty ten minutes later, she confirms some of the more salacious details described by other escorts in court papers as well as the alias Vanmoor was fond of using -- "Peter Gundher." According to Susan, it was common knowledge among the pool of escorts that Gundher/Vanmoor was the agency's owner. "He was nice at first," she says, "just so you can put up with him. Then he's really bossy."
In a March 1998 court deposition, a 30-year-old escort named Berta Brock testified that Vanmoor's sexual proclivities included some unusual behavior -- in particular, the practice of coprophagy. Questioned after her arrest, Brock told police during her testimony that "Vanmoor paid her $600 for some of her feces. She supplied him with the feces, and he ate it in front of her."
In 2001, after Fort Lauderdale police arrested Florence Dating Service worker Ruth Rodriguez in a sting operation, she agreed to cooperate. Rodriguez, now 33, continued to work and gather information for police, and on May 23, she was sent by the agency to the Days Inn at 4211 N. Federal Hwy. There, according to Spodnick's affidavit, she met Vanmoor. "He was only wearing underwear when he greeted Rodriguez," the report reads. "At this point, Vanmoor told her to sit down as he masturbated himself in front of her." After asking her to have sex with him, Rodriguez refused and began to leave. "Vanmoor then asked if she would do a favor for him and 'pee' (urinate) into a cup because he wanted to drink it in front of her," the report continues.