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'D.C Madam' found dead in Florida

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'D.C . Madam' reported dead in Florida

Calif. woman convicted of running $2 million Washington prostitution ring

g-cvr-080501-palfrey-10a.widec.jpg Jacquelyn Martin / AP file

Deborah Palfrey outside federal court in Washington in March 9, 2007.

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APTRANS.gif updated 28 minutes ago

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. - Florida authorities confirmed that Deborah Jeane Palfrey, convicted of running a high-end prostitution ring in Washington, is dead in a suspected suicide, NBC News reported.

The body of the 52-year-old woman was found in a shed near her mother's mobile home Thursday morning in Tarpon Springs, about 20 miles northwest of Tampa. Police said in a statement that she left a suicide note, but they did not disclose its contents or how she killed herself.

Police did not immediately have additional comment when reached by telephone. Her attorney, Preston Burton, did not return a telephone call and e-mail message.

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Palfrey, known as the "D.C. Madam," was convicted April 15 by a federal jury of running a prostitution service that catered to members of Washington's political elite, including Sen. David Vitter, R-La. She had denied her escort service engaged in prostitution, saying that if any of the women engaged in sex acts for money, they did so without her knowledge.

She was convicted of money laundering, using the mail for illegal purposes and racketeering.

But the trial concluded without revealing many new details about the service or its clients. Vitter was among possible witnesses, but did not take the stand.

Palfrey faced a maximum of 55 years in prison and was free pending her sentencing July 24.

Prosecutors said Palfrey operated the prostitution service for 13 years.

Vitter, a first-term senator who is married and has four children, has acknowledged being involved with Palfrey's escort service and has apologized for what he called a "very serious sin." But he avoided commenting further.

Besides Vitter, the trial also concluded without the testimony of military strategist Harlan Ullman or Randall Tobias, a former senior State Department official. Both men had been named among possible witnesses.

One of the escort service employees was former University of Maryland, Baltimore County, professor Brandy Britton, who was arrested on prostitution charges in 2006. She committed suicide in January before she was scheduled to go to trial.

Last year, Palfrey said she, too, was humiliated by her prostitution charges, but said: "I guess I'm made of something that Brandy Britton wasn't made of."

This breaking news story will be updated.

© 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


"Well, Toutousai...don't you think it's a pity for Tessaiga? All Inuyasha can do is wave about a sword with all his strength...it's the same whether it's a famous sword or a log."


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she left a suicide note, but they did not disclose its contents or how she killed herself.



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