The last time we heard from meteorologist John Bolaris, he was proposing to his girlfriend Erica Smitheman on the Howard Stern Show during Hurricane Sandy. But this week, Bolaris is expected to head to the Federal Courthouse in Miami.
The former Philadelphia weatherman is one of 88 witnesses in the case of United States of America vs. Stanislav Pavlenko and others accused in a wild and highly organized scheme to get men drunk and run up charges on their credit cards. Bolaris was allegedly drugged by two gorgeous Latvian women and wound up with $43,000 in inflated Champagne and caviar charges on his American Express card.
Recently, Marina Turcina, one of the two Latvian women, took the stand on behalf of the prosecution. Earlier, she had accepted a plea deal, pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud related to the scheme.
According to Rod Vereen, attorney for lead defendant Pavlenko, Turcina told him under cross-examination that Bolaris had defecated in his pants during his second night at Caviar Bar, Pavlenko’s business where much of the activity occurred over two days. “He couldn’t hold his liquor,” says Vereen of Bolaris. “Or evidently his bowels, either.”
It was at Caviar Bar where Bolaris signed credit card slips for the Champagne and caviar and where he bought a painting off of the wall for $2,480. The Miami Herald reports that Turcina testified that Bolaris “smelled really bad” and that he had been vomiting on the way back from Caviar Bar to his room at the Fontainebleau hotel.
The Philly Post has obtained a copy of the FBI’s report of its agents’ interview with Turcina, which occurred on August 31, 2011 at the Federal Building in Miami. Here is some of what Turcina told agents. Note that “Rusmane” refers to another woman present for much of the weekend.
Turcina said she knew Bolaris wanted to have sex and told him “okay, if you want to have sex with both of us, then buy us the painting and black caviar.”
At the end of the night, Turcina and Rusmane took Bolaris back to his hotel … While at the hotel, Rusmane sang a Russian lullaby to help Bolaris fall asleep.
Later that same day, Bolaris called them. They had sent him an SMS message because they had all agreed the night before to meet again … Turcina did not remember much about the second night with Bolaris. Rusmane kept taking him to new tables showing nothing on the table and saying “look there is nothing to drink, let’s order again.” Turcina slept all night on the couch at Caviar Bar.
The next morning, they woke Turcina, Rusmane, and Bolaris up. They were told to take Bolaris back to his hotel, so they did. Bolaris had “shit himself” and the taxi cab driver was very upset about it and did not want to take him.
She stated that John Bolaris had been overcharged “but nobody was responsible because nobody remembered anything.”
Reached this morning, Bolaris said, “I can’t comment. But you can’t run a story about someone else’s lies. These women are professional liars.”
Bolaris directed me to his agent, Richard Liebner, who had this to say: “These people are trying to discredit John, and whether or not he crapped in his pants is the least important detail, though I don’t believe it’s true. This is a story about people who took advantage of people. This is a story about people who stole. How does whether or not he crapped in his pants have shit to do with Shinola? For Pete’s sake… Whether or not he was discreet or indiscreet that night, John put it all on the line to take on the Russian mob. If you run this story, I will find a way to look into you.”