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Cardiologist reveals how he was targeted by real-life Hustlers

A New Jersey cardiologist has revealed how he ended up with a $135,000 credit card bill from a strip club he doesn't remember visiting when he became a victim of the real-life hustlers who became the inspiration for Jennifer Lopez's new movie. 

Dr. Zyad Younan had first met Karina Pascucci at a restaurant in 2013 before he received a text message about six months later asking for them to meet up. 

They arranged to meet in New York's West Village for dinner but what Younan didn't know at the time was that he was being set up as part of an elaborate scheme involving Pascucci and three other women.

The cunning plan - spearheaded by former strippers Samantha Barbash and Roselyn Keo - involved luring rich men to New York strip clubs where they would swipe their credit cards to steal tens of thousands of dollars. 

Pascucci and another woman named Marsi Rosen were strip club employees who became the go-to women who would help lure the wealthy men to the clubs.

Their cunning scheme eventually came crashing down when all four women were arrested and charged back in 2014. 

New Jersey cardiologist Dr. Zyad Younan has opened up on how he became a victim of an elaborate scheme run by former New York strippers in which they would steal from wealthy men. Karina Pascucci went on several dates with him in 2013 posing as a nursing student

The misdeeds of the former strip club employees and exotic dancers has since become the inspiration of the new movie 'Hustlers' starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart and Keke Palmer. 

In an interview with ABC's 20-20 airing Friday night, Younan opened up on how he was scammed and ended up with a $135,000 credit card bill from a strip club he doesn't remember ever visiting. 

Younan also detailed how he went on to cooperate with authorities to help bring the women down.     

He said the first two dates he met Pascucci for started out normally but after drinking some wine he blacked out and woke up the following morning with no memory of what had taken place.

Younan said Pascucci - who was posing as a nursing student - told him on both occasions that he had drunk too much.

'I was naïve and foolish,' Younan said. 

'I believed her, I trusted her… I mean who hasn't done a stupid thing or two for a beautiful girl in life.' 

He said he never suspected anything because he had woken up with his credit card, phone and belongings. 

On their third date, Younan blacked out again and woke up to find a $135,000 charge on his American Express from the gentleman's club Scores. 

The misdeeds of the former strip club employees and exotic dancers has since become the inspiration of the new movie 'Hustlers' starring Lili Reinhart, Jennifer Lopez, Keke Palmer and Constance Wu (pictured left to right)

Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu's characters in the new film are based on former strippers Samantha Barbash and Roselyn Keo who spearheaded the cunning plan

'I had never been to Scores,' Younan said. 

'I had never had an account with Scores. I had never stepped foot into Scores… and American Express knew I had no history with that vendor.

'(American Express) said it was three separate nights and then I put it together… It was every time I went out to dinner with her.

'I even saw the receipts. They were all forged receipts and they weren't even my own handwriting.' 

Younan said he confronted Pascucci and told her she was 'nothing but a thief... nothing but a swindler'.

Pascucci, who was also interviewed for the 20-20 special, said she was 'definitely apologetic' about the incident involving Younan.

She said Samantha Barbash was actually the one who arranged the initial date with Younan and insists she didn't know he had been charged that much. 

'I definitely 100 percent felt bad because I didn't even know his bill was that high until I had found out from (the) Scores' manager and from Samantha,' Pascucci said. 

Younan said American Express acknowledged the charges were fraudulent but Scores had surveillance footage of him inside the club. 

Scores also filed a lawsuit against Younan, which was widely reported on in New York media, demanding that he pay the $135,000 bill.  

Roselyn Keo, who was one of the ringleaders, said the scam normally worked given the men were married and were highly-ranked in their Wall Street companies

Younan refused to pay and started fighting the lawsuit when he was approached by NYPD detectives and the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

The law enforcement agencies were already onto the women and were building a case against them. 

Among the evidence was an undercover sting in which women, including Pascucci, were caught on camera admitting to drugging an undercover agent - who faked being unconscious - in a hotel room. 

That agent had posed as a wealthy man in a hotel bar before taking one of the women back to his room.  

'I felt like they were like vampires hovering over me,' the undercover agent said. 'My blood was the credit card. They needed to get me to this strip bar with my credit card to do their business.'  

Authorities were eventually able to determine that the women were essentially targeting the rich men and drugging them with ketamine and MDMA so they experienced memory loss.

They would then take them to the strip club so they were captured on surveillance video before racking up tens of thousands of dollars worth of charges on their cards. 

Jennifer Lopez's character is based on Samantha Barbash - the former stripper who masterminded the scheme. Barbash has previously threatened to sue Lopez over her portrayal in the film, saying it is not a true representation

The women would all then get a cut of the profits from the club. 

They have said previously that they had to give about 40 percent of their earnings each night back to the club. 

It was essentially because of this that the scheme was masterminded. 

The majority of the scheming took place in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis when Wall Street clients started cutting back on their spending. 

Keo, who was one of the ringleaders, said the scam normally worked given the men were married and were highly-ranked in their Wall Street companies. 

'They didn't want any problems. They just wanted to pay the bill and move on,' Keo said. 'We would tell [our marks], 'Listen, it's a losing battle. Just give it up. We have you on camera'.' 

Younan was among those who refused to buckle. Following a lengthy court battle, a judge finally threw out the Scores lawsuit against him last year. 

The four women involved were all arrested months after Younan started helping authorities. 

They were charged with conspiracy and grand larceny but all went on to take plea deals.

Pascucci and Rosen served a total of 16 weekends at New York's Rikers Island prison. They also received five years' probation. 

Barbash got five years' probation. 

Barbash has previously threatened to sue Lopez over her portrayal in the film, saying it is not a true representation.  

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