TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa woman was sentenced to five years in federal prison for her role in a money-laundering conspiracy connected to a sexually exploitative “child modeling” website.
Patrice Eileen Wilowski-Mevorah, 53, of Tampa laundered more than $2 million for the Newstar Enterprise —an internet-based business aimed at “for-profit sexual exploitation” of children under the guise of “child modeling,” according to the U.S. District attorney’s office for the middle district of Florida.
Officials say Wilowski-Mevorah joined the company in 2009 and fraudulently opened bank accounts under a phony jewelry company. She used the phony accounts for 10 years to conceal criminal funds and transfer proceeds to other members of the company.
In 2019, authorities executed several search warrants and simultaneously seized the Newstar websites’ servers in the United States and Europe before disabling them.
Court documents say the “child modeling” website produced more than 4.6 million sexualized images and videos to distribute and sell — some of which, though non-nude, showed minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
In some instances, pictures and videos sold on the website showed children as young as 6 years old in sexual and provocative poses, wearing police and cheerleader costumes, thong underwear, transparent underwear, revealing swimsuits, pantyhose, and miniskirts.
Most of the child victims were recruited from Ukraine, Moldova, and other nations in Eastern Europe because they were particularly vulnerable due to their age, family dynamics and poverty.
Sales of the “child modeling” content reportedly generated more than $9.4 million during the course of the conspiracy.
Several others allegedly a part of the enterprise are awaiting trial on money laundering charges.
Wilowski-Mevorah was ordered to forfeit $236,410 and faces five years and three months behind bars.