Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Heidi Fleiss: The Million Dollar Madam

In the Money

Heidi returned to work after a six-month break following Wendy's death. Yet, when she did go back it was not business as usual. Heidi became angry with Madam Alex for pocketing the majority of the profits, leaving Heidi with only a small percentage of the earnings. Their relationship became volatile and Heidi decided to go into business for herself.

Heidi built up a new high-end prostitution service by employing a fresh batch of stunningly attractive, ambitious young women. Some of the women were aspiring actresses, university students, businesswomen and even a former Miss U.S.A. contestant. Heidi never had to recruit. Women came to her. They often tracked her down at her friend Victoria's nightclub, On the Rocks, in downtown L.A, where Heidi spent a great deal of time. 

Heidi successfully managed to corner the high-end prostitution market within months of starting her service. In a year, she earned several million dollars. The prostitutes working for her received 40% of the profits they made, including tips. For the most part, Heidi had a good working relationship with her girls.

Heidi's reputation and successful business practices gained international attention within elite circles. It was not unusual for Heidi to send her girls abroad to service wealthy customers. Many of the prostitutes traveled frequently to London, Paris and other international destinations, raking in from $1,500 to $1 million per customer.

The girls enjoyed the money being lavished on them and the exotic locations because they were able to experience a lifestyle previously unknown to them. Many of the girls had a rare opportunity to meet some of the world's most powerful men during the parties they attended with their clients. One of the girls even met President George H.W. Bush at a fund raising dinner.

Heidi's business flourished. In 1992, she earned enough to buy another house in Los Angeles. It appeared as if everything was going her way, until June 1993 when the police put a stop to her operation.

Categories
Advertisement