Police investigate the premises at 304 E. 78th St., where mother of four Anna Gristina allegedly ran a high-end brothel.
With well-connected friends like these, the multimillionaire Manhattan madam didn’t worry much about her enemies.
Upstate soccer mom Anna Gristina, in secretly recorded conversations, boasted about her insider informants throughout law enforcement: the NYPD, the DEA, the FBI and ICE, the Daily News has learned.
The 44-year-old even bragged about her sources inside the Manhattan district attorney’s office — even as the prosecutor was monitoring her calls.
During one of several conversations obtained by The News, the immigrant recounted a 2008 phone call that sent her fleeing the city — and the country.
My guy in the FBI called my partner in my land development business and said, ‘You’d better tell your Scottish friend it’s time to leave the country. And for quite a while,’ ” Gristina recounted.
I had 15 minutes to pack my bags and grab my dog and get out of town.”
The mother of four did just that, crossing into Canada until the attention died down. That was the same year that ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s Washington tryst with a call girl forced his resignation.
Gristina, currently jailed on $2 million bond on Rikers Island, was so well-connected that her former employees routinely kept their mouths shut about her operation.
Over 15 years of operation from an upper East Side brothel, sources told The News, Gristina pulled in more than $10 million.
And despite complaints from neighbors about her lucrative operation, Gristina’s bust last month on a prostitution charge was her first arrest.
A friend in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted a background check on her behalf, Gristina claimed.
She looked up my green card, my passport number,” the madam said. “I’m not on any federal list. And I’m not on any state list.”
On one of the calls, Gristina recalled sending some hired muscle to intimidate her competition: self-proclaimed King of All Pimps, Jason Itzler.
The wealthy madam suspected the upstart Itzler of stealing her girls, pumping them for information and feeding it to the feds.
I called my guys,” she recounted. “My guys sent some people over to (Itzler’s) office to have a little talk with him. The guys, I think, made him very nervous. He never bothered me again.”
And, she added, it’s a good thing that Itzler learned his lesson.
My best friend is friends with the chief director of the FBI for the entire country,” she declared.
I can have him shut down. Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
A spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration denied any of the outfit’s agents called Gristina.
In her unguarded moments, Gristina provided a peek into the labyrinth that she created to hide her multimillion-dollar enterprise.
I always deal in cash,” she revealed. “Anything I own is in different (corporate) names. My signature is not on anything. Even my car is registered in a corporation.”
The resident of Monroe, Orange County, said she never deposited a penny in U.S. banks.
“The day you get arrested, they take your money, your land, everything,” she observed. “All my accounts are located outside the country under another name.”
Gristina said her low-key suburban lifestyle was another dodge.
I’m not stupid. I don’t have a $2 million home and then claim $30,000 a year to the IRS,” she said. “I don’t take trips to Tahiti.”
Prosecutors cited the accused madam’s overseas cash stash in arguing for her high bail.
Gristina also insisted on avoiding the telephone for business: “I use Skype. It’s not traceable. (I) don’t talk funny s--- on the phone.”
The cocky madam offered just one complaint, about a client who took a huge financial hit from the recession.
I’m having trouble with him,” she confided. “He used to spend $10,000 a night. Now he won’t even spend $2,000. He’s not making the money he used to.”
Despite her decade and a half of free rein, Gristina had a premonition of her pending arrest after a five-year investigation by Manhattan prosecutors.
“Did you ever have one of those harrowing feelings that something bad was about to happen?” she asked. “I keep seeing a van at the end of my driveway when I look out.
Every time the doorbell rings, I think they’re finally here for me. I don’t know, maybe we’re all just paranoid.”
But she knew where to turn for legal help.
I asked my friend at the DA, ‘Who’s the best criminal defense attorney?’ ” she recalled with a cackle. “Who better to ask?”