Accused operator in Spitzer case to plead guilty

June 9, 2008 5:50:50 PM PDT
A man accused of running an escort service that led to the downfall of former Gov. Eliot Spitzer will plead guilty, his lawyer said Monday.

Murray Richman confirmed that Mark Brener, 62, will appear Thursday in federal court in Manhattan after negotiating a plea deal with the U.S. attorney's office. Richman called the deal fair.

The agreement, reached about a week ago, is similar to the one federal prosecutors reached with Cecil Suwal, Richman said.

Suwal, 23, ran the day-to-day operations of the escort service. She pleaded guilty to a pair of federal conspiracy charges June 3. The plea bargain calls for Suwal, who has no criminal record, to receive between 21 and 27 months in prison ? but a judge could depart from that recommendation.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office declined to comment Monday on the Brener plea deal.

Along with Suwal and Temeka Rachelle Lewis, one of the agency's bookers, Brener would be the third of four defendants to plead guilty in the high-profile case.

Prosecutors say that Spitzer was a client of the Emperors Club V.I.P. He resigned ignominiously in March, leaving his reputation in tatters, but has not been charged.