Matthew Thompkins may be a high-rolling two-time Pimp of the Year, but the 35-year-old Bronx, N.Y., native has earned a new title: federal inmate.
Last month, Thompkins was arrested in a nationwide federal operation called Innocence Lost, which targeted individuals who pimp underage girls.
The Philadelphia Daily News reported that Thompkins and seven others were charged in a Camden, N.J., federal court with running prostitution rings in New York, Boston, Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
One of the keys to the arrest case came through a federal complaint as well as an interview Thompkins gave recently in the December issue of Ozone.
The Florida-based hip-hop magazine, founded in 2002, chatted with a pimp named "Brandon" who cruises around Las Vegas in his white Range Rover, offering a string of one-liners and holding forth on his "pimptuition."
Brandon was described in the story as overweight. FBI lists Thompkins as 6-foot-3 and 350 pounds.
Ironically, Thompkins told Ozone that the only boundary he wouldn't cross was the age of consent when choosing his women.
The article read: "Brandon believes that anyone who pimps a woman under 18 deserves to go to jail."
The federal complaint that was filed described one girl working for Thompkins who told him that she was 14.
"A lot of girls started working for me when they were young also," Thompkins told her, according to the complaint, which described the 14-year-old girl as screaming and crying because she wanted to go home.
"Thompkins slapped her in the face and told her to shut up and to not disrespect him," the complaint stated.
There was no doubt that Brandon was Matthew Thompkins, according to the FBI; one of his aliases is Brandon Williams.
The U.S. Attorney's office acknowledged that it knew about the Ozone article but would not comment further.
Nevertheless, the article has been turned over to defense attorneys and could become evidence at trial.
Prosecutors have moved to seize five homes, eight luxury vehicles, two bank accounts, and a money market account connected to Thompkins.
Thompkins, who remains in federal custody, kept an expensive house in Philadelphia, where his prostitutes stayed when they worked in Atlantic City, authorities said.
Five of the women in his stable were snared last month in a state police sting at one of the casinos.
Although Thompkins' attorney Mitchell Elman declined to comment, Rocco Cipparone, a Haddon Heights lawyer, said that it was unlikely that the article would be used at Thompkins' trial.
"How do they prove he is Brandon? To do that and to use his words, they'd have to bring in the reporter, because the article would be hearsay--double hearsay, actually," Cipparone said. "I see a couple of thorny legal issues they'd have to resolve to even use the article."
The FBI would not say how agents know that Thompkins is Brandon, but agents had tapped two of Thompkins' cell phones since August, listening to 4,100 calls.
For his work, Brandon was honored twice as Pimp of the Year at a "Pimps & Hoes Ball."
Federal authorities who found the trophies during Thompkins arrest described one of the trophies as standing four feet tall, topped with a scepter-wielding figure in a crown and cape.
The Pimp of the Year trophy is given out every year at the annual Players Ball to the pimp who convinces his fellow pimps that he has made the most money and the biggest name for himself during the previous year.
Julia Beverly, Ozone's editor and publisher and author of the Brandon article, refused to comment on the piece.
Despite the image of his profession, Brandon told Ozone he didn't smoke, drink or use drugs and that his prostitutes were free to come and go--another statement at odds with the charges against Thompkins.
"I'm one of the most disciplined pimps that's ever done it," Brandon told the magazine. "I've had women for years that I've never touched."