A retired NYPD vice detective raked in more than $2 million running a string of brothels with the help of several active-duty cops — two of whom got sex on the house in exchange for passing along confidential police information, officials said Thursday.

Ludwig Paz, 51, allegedly charged customers $40 for 15 minutes with a prostitute of their choosing, or as much as $160 for a full hour.

But Paz let NYPD Sgt. Carlos Cruz and Police Officer Giancarlo Raspanti romp with hookers free of charge except for $20 tips paid directly to the gals, prosecutors said in court.

Cruz, 41, was seen visiting Paz’s brothels “countless times” but would only have to “give the girl a 20,” Queens Assistant District Attorney Bradley Chain said.

To get the cut-rate sexual favors, Cruz — whose lawyer described him as a married father of two — provided Paz with unspecified information he obtained on his own and also from other cops, Chain said.

Raspanti — whose lawyer described him as a 23-year veteran and divorced dad who lives in his childhood Brooklyn home — allegedly searched NYPD databases to help Paz keep from getting busted. He also received “discounted sex” at the brothels, paying just a $20 tip when he visited, ADA Christine Oliveri said.

Paz allegedly paid Brooklyn South Vice Det. Rene Samaniego, 43, as much as $500 a week to serve as his “primary informant,” with Samaniego allegedly tipping Paz to upcoming raids and undercover operations.

Samaniego’s information included details on “what officers were coming at what time, what they were wearing, where they were coming from,” Chain said.

He also allegedly provided assistance with illegal lottery operations Paz is accused of running out of a deli, two beauty salons and other locations in Queens and Brooklyn.

Paz is accused of using online ads to lure johns to brothels that he ran with his wife, Arelis Peralta, in Queens, Brooklyn and Hempstead, Long Island.

A cop’s tip led the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau to launch an investigation in April 2015, and Brown said the prostitution racket alone generated more than $2 million between August 2016 and September 2017.

Paz allegedly exploited his knowledge of NYPD protocols to try to weed out undercover cops — who aren’t allowed to expose their genitals during sting operations — by requiring that new customers get undressed and fondled, Brown said.

Other cops charged in the racket include Sgt. Louis Failla and Det. Givannni Rojas Acosta, 40, whose sister tearfully proclaimed his innocence following his arraignment in Queens Supreme Court.

“He didn’t receive anything for anything they are blaming him for,” she said. “He will be cleared soon.”

Two NYPD brothers — Sgt. Cliff Nieves, 37, and Officer Steven Nieves, 32 — are accused of running a brothel “for the sole purpose of hosting a bachelor party,” Brown said.

All of the cops were released without bail, with Cliff Nieves sitting in the back of the courtroom — his hands clasped as if in prayer — as he waited for his brother to get sprung.

 

 

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