Industry News

LA’s Biggest Madam Michelle Braun (Nici of Nicisgirls.com aka Bella of BellaModels.com) Arrested

After the execution of a federal search warrant on her home, Michelle Braun (born July 23, 1977) was arrested at her home by Palm Beach Sheriff’s Deputies at 7:23 p.m. (EST) Oct. 16 (along with her husband Farrell S. Kellener, born June 3, 1977) for cocaine and paraphernalia possession.

More on Michelle Braun here.

Braun and Kellener made the $3,000 bail. He was released at 5 a.m. Oct. 17 and she was released at 6:36 a.m. (EST).

Here’s Michelle’s mug shot. She appears to have been crying. Her make-up is badly smudged.

By contrast, here’s a shot Michelle uses on one of her myspace pages (set to private).

Here’s how the federal prosecution of Michelle Braun works: The feds went to a judge and showed enough cause for him to issue a search warrant. The feds and sheriff’s deputies raided her home. They found drugs. The deputies arrested her and charged her with drug possession.

The feds probably confiscated her computers and a bunch of other things and will pour over it to develop charges against her of prostitution and tax evasion, etc.

The minute Braun is charged with federal crimes, the FBI will issue a big press release.

Then Michelle will either cop a plea or go to trial and then she’ll most likely  go to prison for a few years.

Michelle’s enemies in the prostitution industry have assisted the feds for years to bring her down.

Braun has known for at least five years that she’s being surveilled. She probably hopes that she can plea bargain out by selling out her clients and employees.

1sideeffects writes on TER:

Ms. Braun and her husband Farrell Kellener were arrested by local  Boca Raton authorities who were assisting FBI agents with the execution of a FEDERAL search warrant. During the search both cocaine and paraphernalia were found and the two were charged with and booked for possession. The arrest records are public and can be viewed at www.pbso.org by selecting the blotter from the quick links menu and searching their names.
She claims in another related post here that she does not own Bellamodels. Doing a search at alexa.com for both bellamodels and nicisgirls domains will show that they are both held by the same party at Katz Global Media. Additionally there is no Nici. It is a fictitious name adopted by Ms. Braun to deceive the public.
If anyone wishes to verify that the “usable” amount of cocaine was merely a side effect of being searched by the FBI they can contact the Los Angeles field office of the FBI and ask for the media relations department. They will not disclose anything other than the execution of the search warrant resulting in her arrest on the state possession charges  due an ongoing investigation.

BellaModels aka Michelle tries to spin here:

BellaModels is …a spin off of Nici’s Girls which she did own but she only worked with us as a consultant for the time that it took to transition the models and clients. That position has now expired. Besides that this bust was for a “usable” amount of cocaine and marijuana (a la Lindsay Lohan) which is a personal matter and had nothing to do with business? If you have any questions please email us. We do know many of you still contact Nici directly (and since she can obviously book many of the same girls this may be where the confusion lies) but if you want to contact Bella Models please do so at (888) 299-7681.

For more than a decade, Michelle’s been LA’s biggest madam and the biggest procurer of porn girls, Playmates and Pets for the prostitution industry.

Expect this bust to go the same route as the Exotica-2000.com bust. The main focus will be on tax evasion and prostitution. Girls who’ve earned a lot of money without paying taxes will be leaned on to cooperate and to testify.

For more information on this drug bust, go to pbso.org, “Quick Links” and then “Police Blotter” and put in her real name.

Michelle will make Heidi Fleiss “look like a piker,” says an FBI informant.

A lot of writers have tried to get Michelle to tell her story, including author and whoremonger William Stadiem.

Michelle shot a reality show pilot a couple of years ago about her life as a madam. The show didn’t sell. The producer, Jason Hervey, found Braun difficult to deal with.

Now she’s come back with a new reality show (unshot) — The Girls of Ocean Drive. She’s using the name “Michelle Kellener.”

Braun has two kids and a lot of plastic surgery.

Over the past few years, she’s moved a lot.

In my capacity as a reporter, I’ve gotten to know a few madams over the years. (I’ve never hired a hooker nor has anyone sent me one.)

It’s a high-stress occupation. There were a few death threats sent around. One madam would send another a picture of her home and say, ‘You weren’t home. They’ll stop by later.’”

I remember one madam getting suicidal.

Michelle was about the most combative. She was always feuding.

I found her fun to talk to.

Her husband Farrell Kellener sent text messages to friends during the raid. He was frightened.

Michelle’s girls were calling around Tuesday night until the news was confirmed on PBSO.org.

I guess much of Michelle’s business will now go to her competitor Nicole at TheGirlOfYourDreams.com. If there’s a legit escort agency — where it is registered, the owner pays her taxes, no sex is booked by the agency (whatever the escort agrees to do privately with the client is their private business) — then this is it (as far as I know).

Here’s more on Michelle and her husband Farrell Kellener. Paulspoop.blogspots.com reports:

After Farrell appeared on VH1’s World Series of Pop Culture, this post starting gettting a lot more attention. Some of that attention came from an anonymous poster who implied she was Farrell’s wife. She asked that I remove a photo containing the faces of her two minor children. Even though I don’t think I was legally obliged to do so, I complied with her wishes.

At some point in 2002 or 2003 Farrell went to work as a radio DJ at KSPN in Aspen, Colorado. He also had an interesting side job. He was fired (or would have been) from the station in early 2004 because of his night job as a male stripper/escort.

Here’s some of the article from the Aspen Daily News:

“An Aspen drive-time deejay says he was stripped of his job after his bosses in Denver grew shy over his other calling: adult entertainer.
“I wasn’t fired. I walked away under the grounds that I would’ve been terminated anyway,” exiled deejay Farrell Kaye said from his home in Florida, where he returned after leaving KSPN radio a few weeks ago. “Someone powerful in that town dug up a lot about my past, went to the corporate office in Denver and threatened to scare away advertisers.”
KSPN General Manager Colleen Barill described Kaye’s exit as “a mutual parting of ways” and NRC Broadcasting Inc. CEO Tim Brown acknowledged that the disc jockey’s departure was shrouded in controversy. He declined to offer specifics.
“We really are not prepared to discuss our personnel issues outside of the company and quite honestly by law we’re only able to verify compensation and employment,” Brown said Tuesday. “We need to be sensitive to privacy issues.”
But “privacy” is a seemingly incongruous term when discussing Kaye – a 27-year-old male stripper whose services are widely touted on various pornographic Web sites that offer erotic massages, role-playing, and more.
The spouse of a woman with whom he had relations complained to NRC Broadcasting about his risqué activities.
“I like to go out seven nights a week and some people didn’t appreciate the good times I was having. I don’t kiss and tell but a lot of people I kissed told for me. I ran around Aspen with a lot of different women and obviously I ran around with the wrong woman,” he said. “In a small town like Aspen, things travel fast and sometimes what I did and who I did got around.”
Kaye added: “When you piss off someone powerful, they’re going to go after you.”
A source inside NRC confirmed that a letter written to the broadcasting company warned that a complaint would be filed with the Federal Communications Commission if Kaye stayed on Aspen’s airwaves. The source said an Internet escort service featuring Kaye included a link to KSPN.
Kaye said he was not aware of a KSPN link on any of the Web sites where his services are offered but he said his name and photographs have occasionally appeared on the Internet and in other media without his knowledge or permission.”

Farrell definitely fucked the wrong guy’s wife and as he says in another article: “There are a lot of jealous husbands out there.”

An internet search for Michelle Braun reveals that Michelle Braun is a well-known Hollywood madam. She runs an escort service called Nici’s girls.

Other articles say similar things about Michelle Braun including that she is now a millionairess. She had porn stars, models and actresses working for her for 40 grand or so per weekend.

I’m not positive that Farrell’s wife is the same Michelle Braun, but his MySpace profile convinces me. This picture is called “my girl and her girls.”

This latest photo is Farrell and his wife on Halloween. He dressed as himself, she was a naughty something or other.

It’s not clear what Farrell is up to now other than presumably fucking his hot rich wife. His MySpace page lists him as a novelist and earlier this year he released another book, “Helltown: The Adventures of the Midnight Man.”

La Signora posts:

If you didn’t happen to catch his screen debut (er, or should I say “non-X-rated” screen debut), Farrell & his two childhood buddies were on VH-1’s “World Series of Pop Culture” show tonight, 7/11/07. Fortunately for viewers, he struck out within 5 minutes of his appearance, as did the rest of the team eventually. Aww, he looked like a sad little puppy.

What WAS wildly entertaining, however, was the interview they did with VH-1. The interviewer asked Farrell what his occupation was! Ha, there shoulda been music to go with THAT song & dance! First he gave some rambling spiel about vampires and ninjas and the Roman Empire, an attempt at humor but instead a painfully obvious effort at diverting attention from his LACK of a real job. Then he briefly acknowledged his short-lived career as a radio announcer, conveniently omitting the part about being fired for being a stripper and male escort ;). He then went on to state that he was hired by his wife (whom Paul here has so aptly identified as “Nici,” the Heidi Fleiss wanna be) to run her, ahem, “modeling agency.” Yeah, right. Would that be because of all his years of experience with, er, “models”???

Farrell rubs elbows with quite a few celebrities because they’re the clients hiring his wife’s girls. (Wonder if they have hourly rates??) Seeing him next to O.J. Simpson recently was a chilling reminder to me of just how different, and yet similar, two people can be — apparently scammers come in all colors, shapes and sizes.

Michelle Braun (I believe) posts:

I would appreciate it i you would respect this request to kindly remove the picture you have posted of my minor children. I am not a person that enjoys having to resort to the ugliness of lawyers. I still hold faith in human compassion especially when it comes to a mother protecting her own. I find it so saddening that we live in a time where people are so quick to judge, criticize and gossip about others when they have never walked in their shoes. Look within. I would prefer you don’t post this I only sent it here because I can’t seem to figure out how to email you.

Anna David writes in Details magazine August 2004:

If anyone has taken Fleiss’ place, it’s Nici — otherwise known as Michelle Braun, a 27-year-old mother of two who until recently lived in Bakersfield, 100 miles outside of L.A. Braun claims that she left the company over a year ago and that it was never an escort or prostitution business but a special-appearance booking company that hired out girls for everything from casual meetings to casino openings. “My service was for people to meet famous people,” Braun tells me over the phone. “Not like Julia Roberts, more like B-actress famous.” She also made it clear that she wanted me to stop working on this article, adding that she thought I’d be the perfect writer for a book about her life because her story was “much bigger” than a magazine piece, and convincingly tossing out the names of an agent and a publishing company. “It so happens that in the past six weeks we’ve been more aggressively pursuing a book deal,” she says. Braun is also smart enough to have hired a top lawyer, Donald Etra, a Yalie and a Skull and Bones brother of President Bush. Retaining legal counsel would appear to be prudent, as anyone intent on filling Fleiss’ shoes is running a risk: Two different sources, one of whom is an FBI informant, said that the agency is investigating Braun. (FBI spokesperson Vicki Hampton-Franklin said that she couldn’t confirm or deny such an investigation.) When I started researching this story, www.nicisgirls.com was a fully functional Web site that required a membership number to delve any further than the home page. Several days after Braun and I spoke, the site had been replaced with a note saying that the domain name was for sale.

The Prodigy and the Playmate

5/27/01

Any illusions that the typical Playboy Playmate is not a whore should be dispelled by the June 2001 issue of Philadelphia magazine. It appears that most of them are available for prostitution through such internet sites as Nicisgirls.com.

Benjamin Wallace writes about the adventures of stock market whiz kid Mark Yagalla. It’s a far bigger and grander tale than Wayne Wang’s new movie Center of the World which is based on a similar premise.

Yagalla spent millions of dollars on whores including such Playboy Playmates as Tishara Lee Cousino (Playboy’s Miss May 1999) and Sandy Bentley, the girlfriend of Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner.

Yagalla graduated from high school with $125,000 in the bank. He day traded his net worth well above one million dollars and started taking on investors.

Never comfortable with women, Mark began purchasing prostitutes in high school (his first at a nursery convention in Chicago). He compulsively procured high priced escorts, bringing them with him on yachts and expensive vacations. Bored renting hookers, Yagalla made the rounds of New York strip clubs with $10,000 in his pocket. He burned through the strippers and turned to the internet in 1999 where he found NicisGirls.com. Nici pioneered internet escorting.

For $5000, folks like Yagalla could join Nici’s “Millionaire’s Club,” a harem of porn stars, Playboy Playmates and Penthouse Pets.

Nici first set him up with a pin-up girl who came to his home and flew with him to Puerto Rico. The four day adventure cost him $28,000 plus airfare.

After that positive experience, Yagalla ordered two new Nici girls a week to his home in Wilmington, paying out $10,000 to $20,000 for their services. Soon Mark began flying regularly to Los Angeles to experience such as Nici specials as porn star Jenna Jameson (for reportedly $25,000 for two days).

Jenna Jameson told Luke that she does not escort.

Yagalla would page through issues of Playboy magazine and order the girls through Nici who had access to almost all Playmates.

Nici set Yagalla up with two Playmates of the Year as well as Tishara, who cost Mark $40,000 for the introductory weekend.

Mark bonded with Nici, the new Heidi Fleiss. They were both young, had grown up ordinary and then discovered certain lucrative skills. Both in their early 20s, they enjoyed talking about Nici’s clients and how screwed up Nici’s girls were.

Wallace writes: “On a Thursday afternoon that summer [1999], a chestnut-haired, gypsy-eyed, silicone-bosomed young woman named Tishara Lee Cousino…reclined on a gently rocking bed and looked expectantly at Mark Yagalla, whom she’d just met. They were in the Florida Keys, aboard a 125-foot yacht Yagalla had leased for the weekend. “Do you want to do anything with me?” she asked.”

Yagalla felt put off by Cousino’s bluntness. He wanted a more romantic liason. He said he only wanted her when she wanted him. He wanted her to join his program – where Mark would set her up with a car, a place to live, a credit card and an allowance in exchange for being at his beck-and-call.

Yagalla bought Tishara a black Mercedes SL 500 and a house for $450,000.

In August 1999, Tishara called him on a threeway phone call with fellow Playboy model Sandy Bentley. Sandy was half of the platinum-blond Bentley twins, who were regular girlfriends of Hefner.

On their way to a Cher concert at the MGM, the three stopped at Crazy Horse Too where Sandy used to strip. Sandy said she wished Mark would be her boyfriend too. “We’ll be a happy family,” Tishara said.

At the strip club, Yagalla balanced on Tishara on one knee and Sandy on the other. When the club’s stripper wondered what his secret was, he replied, “I’m f—ing loaded.”

The next morning Mark bought Sandy a Mercedes SL 500 for $97,000 and took them to lunch at the Venetian. He told the girls he’d give them each monthly allowances of $20,000 to $25,000 each. Tishara suggested they all get HIV tests.

Mark promised Sandy a house and she found a 6,700 square foot two-story Italian villa that cost $1.7 million.

Unlike Tishara, Sandy did not push to have the house put in her name. She even said was wanted to visit him in Delaware. Just one problem – she didn’t want to fly commercial.

When Dempsey arrived in Philadelphia the next weekend, Yagalla picked her up in his red Ferrari. They went back to his home in Delaware and watched Pretty Woman on DVD.

Sandy told Mark that possessions meant nothing to her. Over the next few months, Yagalla gave her a red Ferrari FI355 Spyder, a Range Rover, a black Cadillac Escalade SUV, a pair of fur coats from Bloomingdale’s, two Rolexes, a platinum-and-diamond bracelet from Fred Leighton in Vegas and $190,000 worth of jewelry from Venetzia in Vegas. Each time Mark gave her a new gift, Sandy would light up and and clap her hands with joy.

They made an odd couple. Mark stood 5’3 and flabby. He didn’t smoke or drink or do drugs or even dance. Sandy was almost 5’9″, with hair extensions and breast implants paid for by her pre-Hefner boyfriend, slain Vegas mabster Herbert “Fat Herbie” Blitzstein.

One night at the Mandalay Hotel in Vegas, after they’d had sex, Sandy wandered outside their room. Security eventually called Mark to say there was a naked woman outside his door. Sandy had gotten lost.

Sandy, who called herself “Princess,” introduced Mark to her twin Mandy who liked to call herself “Superstar.” The girls used gangster slang and called each other “nig.”

Yagalla and Sandy talked about marriage and having kids. To mollify Tishara, Mark bought her a new house for $850,000. They never ended up having sex.

Mark got new investors from Florida madam Rita Johnson. Sandy undertook a $1.3 million renovation of her $1.7 million house.

Yagalla and Sandy took a vacation to Cancun with Sandy’s friends – future Playboy Playmate Brande Roderick and Chicago Bears quarterback Cade McNown. Mandy and Sandy had to call Hefner every day to check in.

Hefner paid Sandy and Mandy $100,000 each – $80,000 more than the going rate – for their nude layout in the May 2000 issue of Playboy. In April 2000, the twins and Hefner appeared throughout the media, from The Daily Show to Late Night With Conan O’Brien.

Wallace writes: “Flanked by the twins in matching hot-pink cowboy hats, Hefner swaggeringly maintained the facade of a relationship, gushing about the power of Viagra. (The heterosexual icon, Sandy had told Yagalla, had trouble finding satisfaction through intercourse; instead, he liked the girls to pleasure each other while he masturbated and watched gay porn.)”

Late in the year 2000, Yagalla’s financial empire crashed, he was charged with fraud, and the girls left him.

Nici from Nicisgirls.com kept emailing him until April, 2001, telling him about her latest hot girls. Finally Mark told her he wanted nothing more to do with her “harem of whores.”

From PageSix.com: Hefner, who insists he enjoyed four-in-a-bed romps with Sandy, her twin sister Mandy, Jessica Paisley and Brande Roderick for two years, blasted the tale as “pure fantasy.” He told PAGE SIX: “The notion that Sandy and I were not having sex is ridiculous. That’s either Yagalla’s fantasy or her telling him something that isn’t true. We had normal sexual relations for two years.

“I realize my life is unique and some people think it’s a publicity stunt,” said Hefner, 75. “Well, it isn’t. The relationship with Sandy, Mandy, Jessica and Brande was a normal one – except it involved five people. They were my girlfriends and I was sleeping with all of them.” As for his pornographic preferences, Hefner assured us, “It certainly wasn’t gay porn.”

Here are some excerpts from a 10/10/99 Washington Post article on Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner:

“They’re not faithful and committed to their girls. It’s so fake and phony, I won’t have anything to do with it,” says Doria Rhone, who for three years hosted–and performed on–the phone-in sex show “Nightcalls” when it was the top-rated program on cable television’s Playboy Channel. She left the show in 1998, she says, because its producer wanted her to move toward more hard-core porn.

“It’s unfortunate, because I had a great time working for them. They treated me like a star on a Christmas tree–bodyguards, everything. The minute I stopped working for them, they could care less if I was dead or alive.”

[Carrie] Leigh says Hefner would play tapes of him with his old girlfriends on two large-screen TVs while he and Leigh made love. She told him it hurt her feelings. She said he responded that her feelings of jealousy were outdated. Eventually, Leigh says, she begged Hefner to destroy the tapes that included her. “By my last year with him, there were no other people having sex with us for a couple of years. I said, ‘We might break up, I might go on and have children, and I can’t have you having these tapes–someone else might get a hold of them.’ ”

From the 10/06/99 USA Today:

Playboy is looking to grow in cyberspace, as it has in cable TV, in part because the men’s magazine market has exploded. Added to longtime rivals for male readers such as Penthouse, GQ and Esquire, has been a flood of new ones such as Men’s Health, Maxim and Details. Since 1997, some 20 men’s magazines have emerged, most targeting specific interests such as sports, finances, health, fashion and women. While most don’t have the nudity, many feature women in sexy photographs.

“Playboy is no longer unique. Each one of these magazines has taken on a part of Playboy ‘s niche. It had to find a way to grow,” says magazine industry analyst Samir Husni of the University of Mississippi.

Hefner wants her company to have a $1 billion market capitalization by 2003, up from its current $552 million. She sees creating a separate, public on-line company as one way to energize growth. “I believe on line will be a significant contributor to our market-cap plans.”

From the Sunday Mirror, Anne Witheridge writes:

A HOLLYWOOD madam who operates via the internet is planning to name dozens of famous customers.

Farmer’s daughter Michelle Braun, 24, is touting the client list of her dating agency, Nici’s Girls, to film companies and book publishers.

An insider said: “She has the dirt on actors, film directors, pop stars, record producers, sports stars and rich kid heirs.

“She makes Hollywood’s reigning madam Heidi Fleiss look like a small- time brothel keeper.”

Michelle charged customers to join her agency then porn stars and models were offered at up to 30,000 pounds a weekend.

Ironically, her business was exposed by Playboy boss Hugh Hefner when he realised some of the girls who worked for him were also on her list.

He told the police who are expected to question Michelle soon.

I spoke to Michelle soon after this article appeared. She said it was false.

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