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Miami Herald
Miami Beach psychiatrist linked to prostitution bust;
A Miami Beach doctor is facing racketeering charges after he was linked to a prostitution ring run out of a West Miami-Dade house.
By David Ovalle
December 10, 2008

Psychiatrist Evan Zimmer

Psychiatrist Evan Zimmer

A Miami Beach psychiatrist has been indicted as part of a suspected brothel discovered earlier this year in a raid of a West Miami-Dade house used by a gangster who taunted cops by posting a threatening video on Youtube.com.

Indicted with seven others for racketeering in October, Dr. Evan J. Zimmer is accused of using his credit card to spend more than $10,000 on illegal trysts, some with an underage girl.

Appearing in Miami-Dade court Tuesday, Zimmer denied the charges.

”This is really a case of identity theft,” he angrily told a reporter. “This is ridiculous.”

For years, troubles have followed the doctor, who specializes in treating drug addiction and once appeared on CNN as a guest on the Nancy Grace show.

Zimmer, 57, was nearly arrested in May after failing to pay child support. In 2003, he was implicated in a Medicare fraud scheme; he cooperated with prosecutors and was never charged.

In 1985, Zimmer served probation for driving under the influence in Collier County after crashing his convertible.

Zimmer’s latest run-in began in January when gang leader Rudy Villanueva, also known as ”Bird Road Rudy,” posted an online video taunting Miami-Dade police. Waving an AK-47, he dared police to “come get some.”

He later pleaded guilty to a gun charge.

During the investigation, cops raided a rented, eight-bedroom, six-bathroom house in the 1000 block of Southwest 58th Street where Villanueva posted the video.

UPSTAIRS ROOM

In an upstairs bedroom, they found a 17-year-old girl. On the floor ”there was clothing and condoms scattered,” police said.

They also found “several computers containing pornographic material with minors.”

The girl told police Hugo O. Gonzalez, 31, was her pimp. She was “ordered to call him Daddy.”

Prosecutors allege Gonzalez, who produced fighting videos and pornography, ran an Internet prostitution company. Hookers had nicknames like Giggles, Pebbles and Diamond.

His ”rules of the house” dictated prostitutes gave him all their money and tips, according to documents prepared by prosecutors Alicia Garcia and Michael Von Zamft.

”Gonzalez in exchange would let the girls live at the house for free and would buy them things,” documents read.

Investigators say the brothel was organized, incorporated as a company called NewtotheBiz.com, complete with credit card machines.

UNDERAGE GIRL

Enter Zimmer, who prosecutors say was listed in Gonzalez’s books. The underage girl confirmed to police she had sex with Zimmer “a number of times.”

Credit card records revealed Zimmer spent more than $10,000 for sex.

Zimmer’s attorney, Simon Steckel, said: ”The charges leveled against him are going to be resolved in his favor.” He added: “He’s very well thought of by his peers.”

Gonzalez, Zimmer and the others have pleaded not guilty.

Zimmer is in bitter divorce proceedings with estranged wife, Nancy. They have one son together. In 1986, he was sentenced to six months probation for the DUI. Zimmer went into detox and later told The New Times Broward-Palm Beach that “he was the first doctor in Florida to lose his license and get it reinstated.”

In 2003, he served as the contracted doctor — his signature was vital to complete Medicare paperwork — for Oakland Park’s Community Mental Health Center.

MEDICARE

The center’s director, Bernard Graves, and three others were accused of defrauding Medicare for nearly $10 million. All were convicted.

”He actually was a relatively minor participant in the overall fraud but a necessary component,” said Robert Nicholson, the case’s former federal prosecutor, now in private practice.

Zimmer agreed to cooperate. Though listed as a witness in one trial, he never testified.

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Evan Zimmer