Wednesday, July 16
NEW YORK (AP) — The three evenings started innocently enough: The cardiologist says he and a woman who introduced herself as a nursing student went to dinner and, on one occasion, a concert at Madison Square Garden.
They ended, he says, in a drug-induced blur.
Dr. Zyad Younan alleges his companion, Karina Pascucci, and three other women drugged him into a semi-conscious state and charged more than $135,000 to his credit card at the behest of the well-known New York City strip club Scores.
Younan sued Scores and the women Wednesday, countering a lawsuit the strip club filed against him in May after he challenged the charges late last year as fraudulent. He claims he has no memory of being at the club and never authorized the charges.
The Holmdel, New Jersey resident wants Scores' lawsuit against him tossed and he wants the club and women to cover unspecified damages, court costs and attorney fees.
It's the latest legal chapter in a tawdry tale that made national headlines in June when New York prosecutors indicted the women 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.
A woman who answered the phone at Scores on Wednesday said the club had no comment. Lawyers for Pascucci and two other women could not immediately be reached.
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 Wednesday: "This alleged victim has a case of buyer's remorse and my client is innocent."
Younan alleges in his lawsuit that Scores participated in the scheme — "the club handles the money," he says Pascucci texted him two days after their last encounter — and that it 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."
The 41-year-old Younan says in the lawsuit that the collection calls turned into public disparagement. Scores representatives, he says, told New York media in April that he had an "insatiable" appetite for the club and was "coherent until he saw the bill."