The government charges that she provided $300-an-hour prostitutes to clients in the Washington area, operating the business by phone and e-mail from her home in California. An investigation begun in 2004 by the IRS and the U.S. Postal Service allegedly found that she instructed her escorts, whom she called "subcontractors," to convert her share of fees into money orders and mail them to a California post office box.
Palfrey, who has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and once studied law, served 18 months in state prison in the early 1990s after she was caught running a prostitution ring in California. She started her Washington business while on probation in that case.
She told reporters, "I believe there is something very, very rotten at the core of my circumstance, and without money to hire my own investigators I must rely upon your acumen and talent . . . to uncover the truth." She refused to answer questions after reading her statement.
Asked if he actually expects Tobias to testify in Palfrey's defense, Sibley said witnesses can be subpoenaed to testify and must then "show up and tell the truth."
He rejected a reporter's suggestion that releasing the phone records amounted to blackmail.
"I don't know why that's blackmail," Sibley said. "I call that due process of law." He added, "We don't have any options left."