STUDIO CITY—California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the filing of charges against Karine Michmichian, Dwight Cunningham, and Derek Hay for the alleged operation of an illegal prostitution scheme on Thursday, March 5. The defendants are charged with 12 felony counts of pimping and pandering.
The complaint filed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court alleges that the defendants committed the felonies from 2017 through 2018. Michmichian and Cunningham are accused of working through a company called, ‘The Luxury Companion’ to procure women for the purpose of prostitution from Hay’s pornography talent agency, LA Direct Models located at 5535 Balboa Blvd.
Cunningham was arrested in North Hollywood on Wednesday, March 4, while Michmichian and Hay have active warrants issued for their arrests. According to the complaint filed, Michmichian and Cunningham orchestrated hundreds of sex appointments in exchange for a cut of the money from Hay’s modeling agency. They also allegedly instructed the women how to secure payment ahead of sexual encounters.
In at least one case, Michmichian and Cunningham allegedly promised models they would secure a film shoot with a well-known producer of pornography films. Hay allegedly pressured one of his female clients into prostitution by using exclusivity provisions in one of his contracts to limit her access to work in pornography films.
Bail for Michmichian, Cunningham, and Hay was set at $175,000, $105,000 and $70,000. Cunningham is currently being held by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
To those who suspect they may have been a victim of misconduct related to anyone who may be involved in the case, they are asked to call the case hotline at (323) 765-2099.