A home on Scarborough Place in Pinehurst was named in federal court as one of the locations that an ex-con held students in forced labor and extortion.

Lawrence Ray, who also goes by Lawrence Gecco, was arrested Tuesday and charged with sex trafficking, extortion, forced labor, among other federal charges.

Photo via Google Maps.

Reportedly, Ray, 60, of Piscataway, New Jersey, brought three students to the property and forced them to do manual labor in 2013. The New York indictment states they had to install an irrigation system at the location.

They suffered physical abuse at the hand of Ray while at the home in Pinehurst. He would also falsely accused the victims of damaging the property and threatened to take out charges for the damages and even drove them to the Pinehurst Police Department on several occasions.

The indictment goes on to say, “In addition, as alleged, RAY forced three female victims to perform unpaid labor on a family member’s property in North Carolina.  Through a course of psychological and physical abuse, RAY forced these three victims to do extensive physical labor, sometimes in the middle of the night, for no pay.” 

“Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Dermot Shea, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NPYD”), announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging LAWRENCE RAY, a/k/a “Lawrence Grecco,” with multiple offenses, including extortion, sex trafficking, and forced labor. 

“As alleged in the indictment, RAY used physical and psychological threats and coercion to indoctrinate and exploit a group of college students in Westchester County as well as other victims.  RAY extorted approximately $1 million from at least five victims; forced certain victims to perform unpaid labor; and caused, through force, fraud, and coercion, at least one victim to engage in commercial sex acts.  He laundered the proceeds of his crimes through an internet domain business.  RAY committed these offenses in locations including Westchester County, New York, and New York, New York, as well as Pinehurst, North Carolina.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “If you or someone you know came into contact with Mr. Ray, we are asking you to get in touch with us at 1-800-CALL-FBI.  We want victims to know in the eyes of the FBI, they come first.” 

Picture of Lawrence Ray from the Department of Justice.

 

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