Kentish Town brothel manager who netted £1.3 million jailed for five years
PUBLISHED: 15:17 15 December 2016 | UPDATED: 15:23 15 December 2016
Mario Seu, 69, of Grafton Road, was arrested on 29 May 2014 after officers from the Met's Organised Crime Command swooped on a five-storey Georgian house in Gloucester Place, Westminster.
Inside were five Romanian women, one with a nude male customer, who claimed to be sex workers.
The women told police they could earn between £300 and £500 a day but most of that would be pocketed by Seu and his 65-year-old partner, Maria Teresa Vittoriano, from Islington.
A search of the premises uncovered three chip and pin card machines, two laptops and a box containing nine mobile phones.
Five of those handsets were later linked to escort websites owned by Seu to lure in punters.
Jurors at Inner London Crown Court heard the couple set up eight fake companies in order to launder the £1.3 million profits over a five-year period beginning in January 2009.
The pair hid their true identities from employees and associates alike, instead using the pseudonyms Jon and Rosa.
They were charged with controlling prostitution for gain, acquiring criminal property and two counts of concealing criminal property on 29 January last year.
Both were found guilty after a two-and-a-half-week trial and Seu was yesterday handed a five-year prison term.
Vittoriano walked free after receiving a two-year suspended sentence.
Detective Constable Silje Mikkelsen, of the Met’s Organised Crime Command, said: “I am pleased that Seu and Vittoriano have received a custodial sentence for these offences and glad that they will no longer be able to exploit vulnerable women for their own financial gain.
“They hid behind the guise of fake companies to launder the proceeds of a brothel and thought they’d get away with it. But our officers were able to establish what these people were doing and how much they were making from their crime.
“This should be taken as a warning to anyone intent on exploiting women in this way that the Met will take every step to find and prosecute them.”