Hustlers. The word refers to hard working, determined people. However, Samantha Barbash, Roselyn Keo, Karina Pascucci and Marsi Rosen created their own unique definition of the word, by swindling some of New York’s finest.
Discontent with the nightly wage for dancing in a strip club known as Scores, Barbash hatched a scheme to prey on the wolves of Wall Street.
Barbash and her girls met with wealthy men of New York in fancy bars where they proceeded to chat them up, roofie their drinks, and lure them back to the strip clubs. Upon arrival they would rack up a hefty charge on the mens’ credit card bills,without them knowing.
Their plot went down in flames after one of their victims recorded a confession from the women who drugged him and sent it to the police station.
All four women evaded jail time, and the most they received was a hefty fine along with probation. Considering the fact that they were each charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, forgery, assault, and grand larceny, some might still think that the penalty should have been much greater.
Assault in the second degree is a felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison, a fine up to $5,000, or both. The penalty for stealing more than $100,000 can include a fine of up to $30,000. Yet, these criminals got off with a slap on the wrist.
In American court systems, studies have shown that sentences for men are on average 63 percent longer and harsher than sentences for women. Because of this, some believe these women got off easy because they are women.
The new movie Hustlers, based off of these true events, only further romanticizes the criminal activity of these cunning women in this modern-day twist of Robin Hood.
The movie shows how many dancers came together to swindle men, similar to the real life dancers. Hustlers seems to bring pride to the idea of robbing and drugging men, which concerned critics of the film.
The connotation of the word Hustlers is also concerning. Their schemes could be viewed as hard work, but it’s systematic robbery.