But on March 27, 2010, Wragge had to cancel at the last minute when his boss asked him to cover the NCAA basketball championship. Bolaris, who had already purchased a plane ticket, decided to fly solo. When he reached South Beach, he hit his mainstay — the swanky Delano Hotel — for dinner. It was the spot he had frequented during the 20 years he spent covering hurricanes in Florida, and he almost always ran into someone he knew there. At the Delano, the raw bar is set up as a long communal dining table, and across from him that Saturday night sat two exotic, dark-haired beauties taking cell-phone photos of themselves. Tourists, he thought as he munched on hamachi, salmon, and a bit of toro that he washed down with some miso soup.

"Beware of overly friendly people. And never hang by yourself in Miami."

Next, he moved to a dimly lit outdoor area with a life-size chess set and an infinity pool. Bolaris, a bespectacled man wearing a sensible outfit of jeans and a white button-down with a $15,000 Breit­ling watch, noticed the two women had followed him. But he paid them no mind as he sat in a poolside cabana with a $17 cocktail and another young woman.

Suddenly, Marina Vladimira Turcina and Anna Kilimatova came up behind him, massaged his shoulders, and goaded him to take a shot. After Bolaris refused multiple times, the women tilted his head back and forced a fruity-flavored concoction down his throat, he says.

"Guess where we're from?" Bolaris recalls the cute yet sophisticated Europeans asking in unison.

"I don't know. Poland?" the divorced TV personality asked, feeling a little disoriented but also attracted to the women he would later describe as girl-next-door types.

Turcina, who was 24, and Kilimatova, 25, plied him with compliments. "You are the weather presenter, no?" one asked.

"Well, I don't have my radar with me right now," he remembers responding.

Bolaris didn't know he was being targeted by two of the ten Eastern European women who had traveled to the United States on fraudulent visas to work as professional sirens on South Beach.

Referred to as b-girls (or bottle girls) by the FBI, they would stake out watering holes in the area, pick up unsuspecting men, and ask them to stop for one more drink on the way home. They would then lure the men to one of six traps on Washington Avenue, where a $5 bottle of champagne might cost $1,000. Time after time, the b-girls' endgame was getting tourists to order as much alcohol as possible. They would hide the menus or knock them off tables if their targets inquired about the prices. Women such as Turcina and Kilimatova would get 20 percent of whatever they squeezed out of their victims.

On the way back to Bolaris' room at the Fontainebleau Hotel, Turcina and Kilimatova asked him to go to a Haiti relief benefit held at a place called Caviar Bar. He remembers exiting the cab, that the windows were blacked out, and not much else.

Next thing he knew for sure, he was alone in his hotel suite with a mysterious painting of a woman's head. He had no idea how much he had paid for it. He had only the vaguest memory of signing three checks. Geez, that's embarrassing, he thought, chalking up his memory lapse to drinking too much and not having eaten enough.

He somehow agreed to a second meeting and blacked out again at Caviar Bar, where Turcina would later testify that Bolaris had defecated in his pants because he couldn't hold his liquor. It was only two weeks later when he learned about the $16,517.37 and $27,194.88 charges to his American Express card. The painting he didn't remember buying had cost him $2,480.

Bolaris had no recollection of these purchases. And it turns out there were dozens of men in similar positions. After he reported the crime, the FBI began investigating and soon identified 88 alleged victims through credit card records. But when authorities began contacting them, few wanted to press charges. "They are willing to take the financial hit to save face," says Tamara Lave, a University of Miami professor specializing in criminal law. "Maybe when they first filed the report, they were angry. Time passes and they don't want to go through the embarrassment of the trial process. They don't want to be cross-examined."

In the end, only a handful of men testified, including Bolaris and a magician from Las Vegas named Brett Daniels.

Ultimately, the man who ran Caviar Bar, Stan Pavlenko, was sentenced to 78 months in prison. Turnica and Kilimatova pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They both got credit for time served, spent three years on supervised release, and paid $44,605.05 and $15,454.99, respectively, in restitution.

Asked if he regrets coming forward to report the b-girls, Bolaris gives an excruciating 15-second pause before admitting, "Yes." He was fired from his job on Christmas Eve 2012 ten minutes before airtime. His friends abandoned him, and his daughter, Sophie, was just about the age when she could Google her daddy's name and see headlines such as "Real-Life The Hangover Destroys Horny Philadelphia Weather Man's Life."

"It was the worst time of my professional life and the worst time of my personal life, apart from my parents passing away," he tells New Times. He says he's speaking from a secluded corner of a gym where he works out because he "can't trust anyone."

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10 comments
Thugswithabadge
Thugswithabadge

YOLO is the place that the now Capt Francis Sousa of Fort Lauderdale police was in charge of the security detail, why did he allow prostitutes to work there? Is this the same guy that helped LeVin get out of his DUI then LeVin struck and killed two people on the sidewalk on A1A & Las Olas, how corrupt is Fort Lauderdale police department? 

mehungsolow
mehungsolow

"Prostitutes Steal Millions and Walk Free"

What a misleading title. I thought this was gonna be an article about GOLDMAN SACHS.

Sandra Strickland
Sandra Strickland

Birds of a feather flock together. The gents had their minds on taking advantage of the women but they beat them to the punch ha!!

Paul Sutherland
Paul Sutherland

B.O.O. H.O.O...Way to have a body guard and not use him, douche.

Dino MacabreEnt
Dino MacabreEnt

Haha Good for them, Fools and their money are soon parted. Jackasses!

 
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