Friday, May 18, 2007

Making Money The Old-Fashioned Way

As a chef on a cruise ship, Paul Humphreys probably made a respectable salary. Not enough to live a life of luxury, but enough to be comfortable. Comfort was not enough for Mr. Humphreys, however, and he probably grew weary of the peripatetic lifestyle that was the fate of anyone working on a cruise ship. All that back and forth on the water, sure who wouldn't want to reside on dry land?

He found another line of work, one that brought in money by the boat load. Unfortunately, owning and maintaining a string of brothels in Dublin is not entirely legal. Pity, as he was operating such a lovely set of premises.

Mr. Humphreys was counting money when gardai came to call at his home at Harty Court on the Lower Ormond Quay. Stacks of money, in the vicinity of Eu30,000, to be precise, and that's a very nice profit for any business. In court, it was revealed that the businessman had earned as much as Eu780,000 per year, and there's no chef in the world who can claim that sort of income from cooking alone.

He occupied five buildings that were used for prostitution, employing up to five ladies who worked two shifts of ten hours each. At a cost of Eu150 per 30 minute session, they kept half and paid Mr. Humphreys half, which sounds fairly equitable all things considered. None of the women were underage, he said, and the houses were kept very clean and neat, probably accounting for the four hours of down time that could have been used to air the mattresses. No one being taken advantage of, none of that, according to the defense, in a 'no harm, no foul' sort of way.

The brothel owner kept meticulous records, as would any sensible entrepreneur. The prosecutor had plenty of evidence to show that 47 clients were made happy in one shift, to the tune of Eu8,730, shared with the employees as per an agreement that was steadfastly maintained.

In his defense, Mr. Humphreys noted that he came from a good family, and showed no past inclinations to entering such a profession. Apparently he was not the sort of pimp to swagger about the streets in furs and large hats, overloaded with bling. A respectable gentleman, he ran his business like a respectable concern.

Still, prostitution and pimping are illegal, and Mr. Humphreys' hard earned gains have been sequestered. The court is looking into his other assets, with an eye to confiscating the lot. As Judge Frank O'Donnell said, Mr. Humphreys has no business walking around with his pockets stuffed with money now that he's been caught. So it's off to jail for the highly successful Mr. Humphreys, there's a fine of Eu40,000 to be paid, and he's going to lose his lovely holiday home in Cyprus along with anything else the Criminal Assets Bureau can locate.

Sometimes the best laid plans do oft times go astray.

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