TN: Ex-dancer pleads guilty to prostitution

Platinum Plus case latest in undercover police sting

A former dancer at the once-notorious Platinum Plus topless club pleaded guilty to prostitution Monday in one of many cases stemming from the two-year undercover investigation “Operation Last Call.”

Starla White, 26, admitted that she agreed to meet a club customer at a hotel to have sex for $1,000 on Nov.2, 2006. The customer was an undercover officer in the police-led investigation.

White, who faces up to six months for the misdemeanor offense, returns to Criminal Court on May 27, when she will ask Judge James Beasley Jr. for diversion, a form of probation that could later clear her record.

She was one of more than 70 dancers, employees and club regulars charged with prostitution, drug trafficking and other offenses following a raid in December at Platinum at 2514 Mt. Moriah and Tunica Caberet & Resort at 5599 U.S. 61 S.

State prosecutor Ray Lepone said nearly all the cases have been resolved, including some that were dismissed because defendants were cooperative in the lengthy investigation that led to the conviction of topless-club kingpin Ralph Lunati.

The 63-year-old Lunati pleaded guilty last November to racketeering and promoting prostitution at the clubs and in February was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.

He also forfeited to the government his ownership in the clubs and $226,721 seized in the raids.

The furnishings at the two clubs were seized by the state and will be sold at a public auction.

Contact Lawrence Buser at 529-2385.


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