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Sally Stanford - Heidi Fleiss

hollywood adams angeles madam

Sally Stanford was not the last of the famous California madams of the twentieth century. In the 1980s Heidi Fleiss (1966–) became known as the "Hollywood Madam." Fleiss provided prostitutes to the rich and famous in Hollywood and beyond. Fleiss learned her trade while working for Elizabeth Adams, known as the infamous Madam Alex. Adams ran the most prosperous prostitution service in Los Angeles.

In 1986 Fleiss decided to go into business on her own. At the age of twenty, with her earnings from Adams, Fleiss purchased a home in the Benedict Canyon section of Los Angeles. She hired beautiful young women from the area's population of aspiring actresses, university students, and businesswomen. Within months she had cornered the high-end prostitution market and was earning millions of dollars.

In June 1993 law enforcement closed in and ended Fleiss's lucrative operation. She was arraigned in August and entered a plea of not guilty. Fleiss agreed to a plea bargain (pleading guilty to a lesser charge so that prosecution drops more serious charge) and was convicted on three counts of pandering (acquiring prostitutes) in charges filed against her by the state of California. Her legal troubles, however, were not over. In 1995 a federal jury convicted Fleiss on eight Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss. (AP/Wide World Photos)
counts of conspiracy, tax evasion, and money laundering. Her father, Dr. Paul Fleiss, a Los Angeles pediatrician, received three years probation for his part in the conspiracy.

Heidi Fleiss received a total of three years in prison for the state and federal convictions as well as an additional three hundred hours of community service. Upon her release in September 1999, Fleiss engaged in legitimate business ventures and wrote a book appropriately titled Pandering that described her experiences.

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