Millionaire Accused of Human Trafficking and Raping Models: It's 'a Web of Lies'
The lawyer for famed money manager Howie Rubin said that claims in a shocking lawsuit accusing him of rape and human trafficking of women are "a web of lies intended to extort Mr. Rubin."
Rubin's lawyer, Yifat Schnur, also said a Maryland man tried to shake Rubin down for almost $10 million in exchange for keeping quiet about the women's claims in the weeks before a lawyer for the women sent Schnur a draft version of their lawsuit.
New Jersey prosecutors told CNBC that a Maryland resident identified by Schnur as that man is due to surrender next week to face extortion charges.
But the women's lawyer, John Balestriere, said that man has nothing to do with the women's claims and was not acting on the women's behalf in any conversations the man may have had with Schnur.
Balestriere also told CNBC that the Brooklyn, New York, federal prosecutors' office reached out to him about potentially investigating Rubin after he filed suit on the women's behalf. A spokesman for federal prosecutors declined to comment.
That lawsuit, filed by two self-identified Playboy models and another model from Florida, claims they were beaten, sexually abused and raped by the married Rubin, a former top manager at Soros Fund Management and Bear Stearns, in multiple incidents in New York City in 2016.
The women are identified by pseudonyms in their lawsuit.
The suit also says the women each returned to New York from Florida, sometimes with other women, to visit him even after allegedly experiencing injurious violence at his hands.
The suit, which seeks more than $30 million in damages, says Rubin paid the women for their travel and time with him in New York.
Their lawyer in court documents said the women were "lured" to New York by Rubin and his accused co-conspirators to meet Rubin "on the pretense of 'companionship and photoshoots,' only to have Rubin assault and rape them."
Lawyers for the women said Rubin and several cohorts worked together to entice women "to travel across the United States to a secret penthouse Rubin controlled in Midtown Manhattan."
"In the penthouse, Rubin would beat and rape the women," the lawyers said.
Rubin's lawyer, Schnur, said the women's attorneys asked Rubin to pay the women $32 million before the complaint was filed.
Schnur, a former prosecutor in the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, is named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
The suit claims Schnur drafted the nondisclosure agreements "that are provided to the victims prior to meeting Rubin" in an attempt to prevent the alleged crimes committed against the women from being exposed.
Schnur, in a statement, said, "The allegations against Mr. Rubin and his attorney, Ms. Schnur, contained in the complaint are fabricated, baseless and without merit."
"The plaintiff's complaint is a web of lies intended to extort Mr. Rubin," Schnur said. "All appropriate law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, have been contacted."
The FBI's field office in New York did not respond to a request for comment.
Balestriere, the women's lawyer, said, "If she's contacted the FBI, I'll speak to them any day of the week."
In another layer of claims, Schnur said that on Aug. 11, a Maryland man named Robert Aloi emailed a board member of a charitable organization that Rubin is involved in.
Aloi, whom Schnur described as a friend and former employer of two of the plaintiffs, told the board member that it was urgent that Rubin speak with Aloi about one of the plaintiffs, Schnur said.
Schnur says she spoke with Aloi via phone on Aug. 14. A spokesman for Schnur said Aloi asked for $9.95 million in exchange for keeping quiet about Rubin's alleged activities with the women.
On Aug. 21, Schnur said, she contacted law enforcement about Aloi's alleged extortion effort against Rubin. Schnur said that several weeks later, on Sept. 15, Aloi canceled a meeting with her that had been scheduled for Sept. 18.
On Sept. 18, a warrant was signed for Aloi's arrest on a charge of theft by extortion by a judge in Middlesex County, New Jersey.
That warrant, provided to CNBC by the Middlesex County prosecutor's office, said that Aloi, between Aug. 11 and Sept. 18, engaged in extortionate conduct by demanding in excess of $75,000 "from the victim in return for not exposing any secret or asserted fact, whether true or false."
The victim was not identified by name in the warrant.
A spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office said she could not comment on whether Rubin was the victim in Aloi's case.
The spokeswoman also said Aloi is due to surrender Monday in New Jersey and is slated to appear in court the following day.
When CNBC called Aloi's home in Maryland, a woman who answered said she would get him to the phone. After a minute or so, the woman returned to the line and said Aloi was "no longer available to talk."
When told that a reporter wanted to speak to Aloi about allegations that he tried to extort money from Rubin, the woman said "OK," and took the reporter's contact information.
Aloi did not return that request for comment, nor did he respond to an email sent to his company.
Schnur said that the women's lawyer, Balestriere, on Sept. 19, emailed to her a draft of the civil lawsuit that ended up being filed by him last week in Brooklyn federal court.
For his part, Balestriere said, "our clients have nothing to do with him," when asked about Aloi. He said that any contact Aloi may have had with Rubin or Schnur was done without the participation of his clients or their knowledge.
Asked why his clients had returned to New York to see Rubin even after experiencing violence at his hands, Balestriere said the women "were very afraid of this man." The lawyer said that even before the women met Rubin, he had obtained "a lot of information about them," including their dates of birth and addresses.