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Victims Transferred Nearly $1M Into Account Controlled By Alleged College Cult Leader, Prosecutors Say
FBI forensic account Mark Milton Lubin took the stand this week to lay out how Lawrence Ray's alleged victims funneled him exorbitant amounts of money over a decade.
The alleged victims of accused college sex cult leader Lawrence Ray transferred nearly $1 million into his GoDaddy.com account over a 10-year period, according to financial data presented by prosecutors in Ray’s ongoing federal trial.
Prosecutors say Ray—who stands accused of sex trafficking, racketeering, forced labor, extortion and other crimes and has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him—created thousands of domain names through the popular domain registrar as part of a scheme to launder money he pressured his daughter’s college friends to hand over, according to Law & Crime.
Ray has been accused of using violence, intimidation and humiliation to control the small group of college students he met after moving into his daughter’s Sarah Lawrence College dorm room in 2010, running his own criminal enterprise with the financial windfall.
FBI forensic account Mark Milton Lubin took the stand this week for the prosecution to lay out the financial aspects of the fed’s case. He presented a flow chart depicting how $992,991 was transferred from alleged members of the group known as “The Ray Family” into a GoDaddy.com account in Ray’s name from December of 2011 to April 2020.
According to the chart, more than 1,427 transfers were made over the nearly 10-year-period by many of the alleged victims in the case, including Santos and Felicia Rosario and Claudia Drury. Isabella Pollok, who has been charged as Ray’s co-conspirator in the case, Ray’s daughter, Talia Ray, and Ray himself also transferred funds to the GoDaddy.com account.
Prosecutors used Lubin’s testimony and a series of flow charts and financial documents to back up earlier testimony given by Ray’s alleged victims—who recounted being beaten by a hammer, being forced to wear diapers and being forced to record false confessions claiming to have either damaged Ray’s property or tried to poison Ray and his family. Prosecutors have said Ray later used the false confessions to extort money from his victims.
Drury, a woman prosecutors say Ray forced into prostitution, testified that she handed over approximately $2.5 million that she earned as a sex worker to Ray.
One financial document used during the trial to support her claims showed that more than $225,000 was sent from Drury’s clients to her paypal account between Dec. 27, 2016 and Nov. 20, 2018, according to the news outlet.
Authorities also provided evidence of large hotel bills Drury racked up between July 17, 2015 and April 11, 2019 while living in those hotels and working as an escort, including $18,160 to Hotel Tonight and $19,106 to Iberostar.
Lubin also showed jurors a slide with the unredacted names of three of Drury’s top clients and the amount of money they wired to her. One of Drury’s former clients who testified last week after securing immunity from prosecutors wired $43,416 to Drury in 21 different transfers, according to The New York Post.
Another chart depicted the $179,900 Drury received in 29 transactions between 2016 and 2018 into a TD bank account she controlled, including one client who paid $44,000 and another who paid $89,400.
According to the chart examining the flow of cash into Ray’s GoDaddy.com account, Pollok, who has been charged separately in the case and has also pleaded not guilty, allegedly transferred more than $440,000 from two separate bank accounts from December 2011 to April 2020.
Drury testified earlier in the trial that Pollok often picked up the money she made from her sex work clients.
Pollok and Felicia Rosario also allegedly donated thousands of dollars through Act Blue, a liberal nonprofit organization, to the North Carolina Democratic Party in 2018, prosecutors said, while Talia Ray had been working for the state party.
Felicia took the stand earlier this week to describe how she had first been introduced to Ray through her brother, Santos Rosario, while she was working in a residency program in California after graduating from Columbia Medical School.
She began dating Ray within months and soon moved to Manhattan in 2012 to be with him, according to The New York Times.
During the relationship, Felicia testified that Ray often tried to coerce her into having sex with strangers, saying that although she agreed to “appease him” she felt “disgusting, used, embarrassed, ashamed, uncomfortable, guilty” after the encounters.
The same year she moved to New York to be with Ray, Felicia testified that she tried to take her own life after feeling so guilty about accusations Ray continually made claiming that she was cheating on him or had cost him money.
Felicia often referred to Ray as her “husband” although the pair never formally married. She testified that the relationship was marred by psychological and physical abuse, describing how Ray had forced her to wear diapers and suck on a pacifier, The New York Post reports.
Ray also isolated her from her family and created a rift between her and her brother, she said.
Today, Felicia said she’s back in contact with her family but remains afraid of the man she once loved and believed she would marry.
“I still feel like no matter where he is he can still get to me,” she said on the stand, according to The Times.
Prosecutors are expected to wrap up their case against Ray later this week.