Louis Michael Parrish, named last year by the FBI as the head of the "largest, most sophisticated commercialized prostitution business" in the Washington area, was indicted yesterday by a U.S. grand jury in Alexandria on 13 counts of prostitution and racketeering kcharges.
The indictment of Parrish and two of his closest associates, Larry J. Wadino and Kathy Lynn Caldwell, culminates what one official said was an exhaustive look at the people who operated and controlled an alleged prostitution business grossing nearly $1 million annually in Northern Virtinia, the District of Columbia and suburban Maryland.
Eight people, including top Parrish aides Clyde Bllard (Skip) Stovall and Gary Marion Van Ryzin, have pleaded guilty to racketeering in connection with the grand jury probe. All eight were listed in yesterday's indictment as unindicted coconspirators.
U.S. Attorney William B. Cummings said yesterday that "we have reached the peak of the structure in terms of the people who operated and controlled" the operation. "There certainly are a lot of rumors going around town about... payoffs and protection... That may be the subject of another investigation," he said.
Several other federal officials said yesterday that the indictments were the "first stage" in an investigation of and how the alleged prostitution operation was allowed to flourish in Alexandria when other local jurishdictions were successfully shutting it out.
The indictments were the first to be handed down by the grand jury, which has heard nearly two-dozen witnesses since it was convened last August.
The indictment yesterday charged that Parrish, Wadino, and Caldwell conspired to run a prostitution business that set up 15 corporate shells to receive money from 21 outcall massage parlors and deposited unstated amounts of money in four separate bank accounts in the names of ficticious persons.
Both homosexual and heterosexual prostitutes were available at specific locations or through telephone appointments, and a chauffeur was hired to drive women from appointment to appointment, the indictment alleges.
Parrish set up "a facility at 624 N. Washington St. (Alexandria) designed exclusively for the administration of sado-masochistic sexual stimulation," the indictiment charges. The equipment had been purchased in the District of Columbia, according to the indictment.
Prostitutes regularly traveled back and forth between Alexandria, the District of Columbia, Wheaton and Oxon Hill, Md., as well as into Arlington and Fairfax counties, the indictment charges.
Phony companies set up by Parrish established charge accounts with legitimate credit card companies so customers brought in by advertisements in newspapers, telephone directories, handbills, and flyers could charge illicit sexual services, the indictment alleges.
Parrish, Wadino and Caldwell recruited and trained "masseuses, telephone operators, managers, and directors" to run the operation, according to the papers.
Parrish, now 33, listed as "a/k/a the Old Man" in the indictment, carried a.357 magnum revolver in a briefcase which he kept on the front seat of his Mercedes 450 sedan, according to an FBI document filed last May.
Parrish's operations were shut down last May in a massive midnight raid conducted by FBI agents who seized truckloads of documents nd sexual paraphernalia. According to one federal official, Parrish "never threw anything away. He had a paper shredder, but he must not have used it."
Parrish's attorney, Jacob Stein, said he had not read the indictment yesterday and could not comment.
Wadino could not be reached. Richard S. Cooper, a Knoxville, Tenn., attorney representing Caldwell, a native of that city, said his client "was a little fish in a big pond. She thought she was in a legitimate business operation."
The grand jury investigation was conducted by assistant U.S. Attorneys Henry E. Hudson and Paul N. Murphy. FBI agents Charles H. Bartles III and Dennis S. Groenke also participated in the probe.
Parrish, Wadino, and Caldwell are scheduled to be arraigned next Monday.
Parrish faces a maximum penalty of 65 years in jail and $95,000 in fines if convicted of all counts. Wadino faces 55 years in jail and $70,000 in fines and Caldwell could receive 25 years in prison and $35,000 in fines if found guilty of the federal charges.