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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 March 2007, 13:49 GMT
US woman 'to share escort files'
Deborah Palfrey
Ms Palfrey retired from the escort business last year
A former escort service owner in the US says she has reached a deal to share the names of clients with an unnamed American news organisation.

Deborah Palfrey had earlier said she would sell the list to help pay for her defence in a racketeering trial.

Ms Palfrey, who has pleaded not guilty, has a list of up to 15,000 clients from her 13 years running the service.

Police say Ms Palfrey was running a prostitution ring which garnered $2m (1.52m) in assets.

Ms Palfrey is seeking the return of her assets, which were seized by federal agents.

Ms Palfrey's arrest followed a two-and-a-half year investigation by the Internal Revenue Service.

Ruling delayed

Ms Palfrey e-mailed the WTOP radio station with news about the deal she had reached. She said she would "hand over all phone records, logs and invoices (including those presently unknown to the government) to what I believe to be one of the most reputable and respected investigative news organisations in the country, to assist me with my needs".

She did not identify the organisation or give more details about the arrangement.

Her lawyer Montgomery Blair Sibley said Ms Palfrey's business, from which she retired in 2006, was a legal fantasy service and that her employees had signed contracts agreeing not to break the law.

"Apparently, there were some rogue escorts who violated the rules, and that is what the government based its case upon," Mr Sibley said.

He said that his client had received serious offers from 12 media organisations to pay for her records.

A federal judge delayed a ruling last week on a request to stop Ms Palfrey from selling her clients' names until the criminal case against her unfolds.

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