DULUTH - Behind the gates of Sugarloaf Country Club reside corporate CEOs, physicians, airline pilots and professional athletes. But at 2800 Sugarloaf Club Drive lives a former Penthouse Pet who, police allege, is a high-dollar call girl.
Lisa Ann Taylor, 42, also a local real estate agent, was arrested at her home Wednesday afternoon and charged with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, prostitution, keeping a place of prostitution and conspiracy to possess cocaine, said District Attorney Danny Porter.
She was transported to the Gwinnett County Detention Center, where she was still being held as of Wednesday night on a $27,900 bond, said an official at the detention center.
Her alleged partner, Nicole A. Probert, 30, of 435 Silverthorne Drive in Lawrenceville, also a real estate agent, was arrested on the same charges and taken to the detention center.
Probert was still incarcerated Wednesday night.
Both are suspected of participating in "high-end" acts of prostitution both in Gwinnett and in other states nationwide, said Porter, who attributes the arrests to a tip given to his office by the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Porter's office launched an independent investigation after the tip and soon brought in Gwinnett County police.
Both agencies worked together in bringing the illegal activities to light, said Gwinnett County police Maj. Bart Hulsey.
Hulsey said police had some knowledge of both women's alleged activities before the joint investigation was under way. After responding to a domestic dispute call at Taylor's residence last summer, Hulsey said, "It was obvious there was something going on there." Hulsey said police had received calls from other Sugarloaf residents reporting suspicious activity at the home.
The Erotic Review
Information regarding Probert and Taylor's alleged business venture was posted on The Erotic Review, a Web site where customers, who refer to themselves as "hobbyists," post comments about services rendered by call girls who operate in various cities nationwide.
The Gwinnett Daily Post sent information to Porter's office in early November after an editor was informed of the site's existence.
"I'll be interested to look at (The Erotic Review) discussion boards tomorrow," Porter said, adding that he anticipates Wednesday's arrests will become part of the online conversations that lately made mention of massage parlor busts in Clayton County. "It's been a very enlightening investigation."
This operation is what Porter describes as a high-end prostitution ring.
The encounters, referred to as "dates," can occur at the home or in other venues such as hotel rooms, Porter said.
Sometimes the call girls will travel to other states if the price is right.
Porter said Taylor and Probert had plans for a twosome date Wednesday afternoon at Taylor's home before their arrest, although Probert had not made it to Taylor's house when she was arrested at her own home.
"A 'date' can cost as much as $5,000 to $10,000," Porter said. "Eight hundred to $1,000 for the prostitution act is the bottom-line price. They have a large number of customers. ... It's not street prostitution."
An investigation conducted by Porter's office and the Gwinnett County Police Department yielded enough evidence to secure eight arrest warrants and two search warrants for the two homes, Porter said.
Both women are cooperating, but police had to force entry into Probert's residence with a battering ram.
Taylor, who goes by the name Melissa Wolf on the site, boasts that she is "North America's Most Published Centerfold and one of Penthouse Magazine's Most Published Pets" on her personal Web site.
Taylor's Sugarloaf home, valued at $1,091,000, was searched Wednesday by district attorney investigators and Gwinnett police.
The evidence seized from the home included a black 2006 Ford Expedition and a black 1989 Corvette.
Other charges, arrests expected
Porter said there are at least five women including Taylor and Probert who are reviewed on The Erotic Review and operating as call girls in Gwinnett County. Porter added that in addition to other charges expected against Taylor and Probert, other alleged call girls as well as alleged customers are expected to be charged.
Taylor and Probert are facing criminal charges as well as civil action, which could result in the seizure of monetary assets.
The maximum criminal penalty is 37 years in prison for each woman, Porter said.
As for their real estate career, Porter believes the jobs were a way to "show legitimate income," as there has been little real estate activity. In fact, Probert's real estate license is listed as inactive.
Taylor has a prior arrest for disorderly conduct, which was the result of the domestic dispute last summer with her then-husband.
Probert's prior arrest record since 1999 includes charges of theft by taking, writing a bad check and several traffic offenses.
In addition to complaints of inappropriate activity, including women walking by windows scantily clad, an annual Halloween party was reported by neighbors as inappropriate, and parents were afraid to let their children trick-or-treat near the house, Porter said.
Hulsey said these were important arrests.
"We've opened new avenues here," he said. "I think you're going to see law enforcement using this as a template across the state."