Nation & World

Doctor is off the hook for $135,000 club tab with four ‘fishing’ strippers

A cardiologist who racked up a $135,000 tab during a three-night spree with four strippers at a New York City club is off the hook for the bill, a Manhattan judge has ruled.

Physician Zyad Younan, of Holmdel, New Jersey, was drugged by the strippers and then fleeced with fraudulent billing, Judge O’Neill Levy ruled Tuesday. Therefore, Younan was the victim of “criminal conduct” and is not responsible for the tab, Fox News reports.

Scores, the Midtown club where Younan was charged for private rooms, tips and booze over three nights in November 2013 — tried to collect on the tab in court even after the strippers pleaded guilty to the scam.

Scores’ lawyer claimed that the doctor “was in a romantic relationship” with Karina Pascucci, one of the strippers. She posed as a nursing major when she first picked up Younan, 44, at a Manhattan restaurant.

After dates with Pascucci and her “cousin” and “sister,” Younan said in court papers, he would awake in a hotel room with no memory of what had happened the night before.

Karina Pascucci
Karina Pascucci AP photo provided by the DEA

Younan sued Scores and the women in July 2014, countering a lawsuit the strip club had filed against him after he challenged the charges as fraudulent. He claimed he had no memory of being at the club and never authorized the charges.

New York prosecutors indicted the strippers and a club manager on grand larceny, assault, forgery and other charges.

The five were also accused of targeting a banker, a hedge fund executive and a real estate attorney in a credit card scam during the last four months of 2013.

All told, prosecutors say, they racked up charges worth about $200,000.

Pascucci’s lawyer, Patrick Parrotta, said after her arrest that she was a college student with no criminal record who worked as a waitress at Scores in Manhattan but never stripped there.

Helen Wu, a lawyer for defendant Marsi Rosen, said, “This alleged victim has a case of buyer’s remorse and my client is innocent.”

Younan alleged in his lawsuit that Scores participated in the scheme — “the club handles the money,” he said, and pressured the women to coerce him into paying up with a barrage of messages and calls.

“I don’t need to speak with swindlers,” Younan says in one reply to the collection calls, according to the lawsuit. To Pascucci, he says he wrote: “You are a manipulative, conniving thief. Please do not call me.”

Younan said in the lawsuit that the collection calls turned into public disparagement. Scores representatives, he says, told New York media that he had an “insatiable” appetite for the club and was “coherent until he saw the bill.”

It’s a tawdry tale of New York City strippers on the prowl for men with money, drinks spiked with illegal synthetic drugs and runaway credit card charges at topless clubs.

Investigators announced the arrests of the four women and a club manager in June 2014.

The five were accused of teaming up to rip off a combined $200,000 from Younan, a banker, a hedge fund executive and a real estate attorney.

According to Drug Enforcement Administration and New York Police Department investigators, the scheme began with the women going on “fishing” expeditions at bars in midtown Manhattan and on Long Island to lure victims. On follow-up dates, they secretly dosed the victim’s drinks with the stimulant methylone, commonly known as “molly,” or the tranquilizer ketamine.

The dazed and confused victims were driven to Scores and the RoadHouse in Queens, where their credit cards were swiped and unauthorized charges recorded, some as high as $50,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Adam Darby: 816-234-4318, @adarby87