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NY Post
New York Post
22 Apr 2023


NextImg:Model claims she was drugged, scammed by trans woman at MSG-owned bar

A model claims she was drugged and scammed by a trans woman at an East Village club, and that the hotspot — then owned by Madison Square Garden — was in on it.

The alleged scam, now the subject of a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit, was reminiscent of a string of druggings and robberies in gay nightclubs in the Big Apple which left two men dead of overdoses, said alleged victim Anna Tchorbadjiev, 25, who models under the name Anna Alimani.

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“Thank God I’m OK,” she said.

Alimani was out for a drink with a pal at the Baccarat Hotel in Midtown when a friend introduced her to an acquaintance, Angela Acosta de Mastronardi, a young brunette wearing a yellow Versace dress.

“We were all chilling. It seemed very normal,” said Alimani, a real estate broker who has walked in Paris and New York fashion weeks and graced the covers of Harper’s Bazaar and an international edition of Glamour. “I had no reason to get suspicious of this person.”

Angela allegedly suggested they continue drinking at Little Sister Lounge, one of a string of high-end clubs such as Lavo, Marquee and others that is part of the Tao Group — which at the time was owned by Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. MSG Entertainment recently sold Tao Group to Mohari Hospitality for $550 million.

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Alimani, 25, has also graced the cover of an international edition of Glamour.
Courtesy of Anna Tchorbadjiev

“She offered to pay and then her card declined, and I was like, ‘Let me pay,'” recalled the Upper East Side resident, who whipped out her American Express Black card.

About five minutes after her first sip of espresso martini, Alimani became ill, closed the tab and quickly left, she said. Angela followed, hopping in the cab with her and even suggesting they stop “for water” at another Tao Group joint, Lavo, Alimani said.

Alimani checked her wallet and, realizing her credit cards were missing, confronted Angela.

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Angela Acosta de Mastronardi

A photo posted to Angela Acosta de Mastronardi’s Facebook page, which shows the trans woman in full makeup and dress.
FaceBook

Angela allegedly denied taking anything until Alimani “grabbed her by the hair,” she said, prompting the alleged scammer to drop them into the model’s purse, she said.

Angela then tried to follow her into her building, Alimani claimed.

“I was like, ‘No way, bitch, you’ll rob me blind.’ I had to push her out of the elevator,” she said.

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Anna Alimani

Anna Alimani, who just launched her own swimwear line, said she quickly confronted the scammer and got her credit cards back despite being drugged.
Courtesy of Anna Tchorbadjiev

She allegedly found two separate credit card charges from Little Sister: a $500 tip on the two drinks and another $1,000 “tip.”

She reported the incident to the NYPD, where a detective claimed Angela was actually a man with a history of similar cons in Las Vegas, Miami and New York.

Victims have been too embarrassed to come forward, the detective told her. The NYPD said no arrests have been made.

Angela Acosta de Mastronardi in orange dress

An NYPD detective told Alimani that Angela Acosta de Mastronardi has a record of scams in Las Vegas, Miami and New York City.
FaceBook

Angela Acosta de Mastronardi

Angela Acosta de Mastronardi.
FaceBook

“That’s how people get away with this,” said Alimani’s attorney, Steve Legum. “If you’re not going to complain, they’re not going to take these people out of circulation.”

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Alimani is suing Madison Square Garden Entertainment for $1.5 million, claiming in Manhattan Supreme Court papers that bar employees worked with the con artist and split the stolen cash.

The alleged scammer couldn’t be reached for comment. MSG Entertainment declined to comment. A Tao Group spokesman said, “We are cooperating on this matter with the NYPD, who are investigating this issue.”