How a Group of Bank Employees Brought Down New York's Hooker-Loving Ex-GovernorS

The Albany Times Union has uncovered a six-page document that shows how an investigation by North Fork Bank brought down former New York governor Eliot Spitzer when he tried to conceal a $5,000 wire transfer to an escort agency.

According to the story, officials at North Fork Bank (now Capital One) filed a Suspicious Activity Report with the feds when Spitzer had asked the bank to omit his name and account number from a $5,000 wire transfer. That, the bank contended, would have been money laundering(!), so instead they asked Spitzer to explain his need for secrecy. North Fork didn't like his vague answer ("to pay a personal expense"), so they donned their Deerstalkers and investigated!

Turns out the would-be wire recipient was a company called QAT Consulting Group, which happened to also own a North Fork bank account and was actually a shell company for Emperors Club VIP, the escort service Spitzer patronized at the eventual cost of his job and political career.

Bank officials started investigating QAT, and their Google-fu — the bank's report says it used "Lexis/Nexis" and "Internet searches" — turned up bogus addresses; a sketchy website; incoming wire transfers and AmEx credits totaling $209,990; and 66 checks paid to "a doctor, an acupuncturist, a recruiter in the entertainment industry, an adult film star and a Belgium musician," totaling $81,067.

North Fork's report no doubt piqued the FBI's interest when they noticed "NYS Governor" listed under "Suspect's Occupation/Type of Business," and seven months later, the FBI and IRS shut down Emperors Club VIP. Spitzer, of course, resigned from office the next day, and although he ultimately escaped criminal charges, his public shaming clearly soldiers on.

North Fork's Suspicious Activity Report:

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