A Stanford Law School graduate married to the co-founder of Ask.com has been
charged in federal court with tax evasion for allegedly running an escort
service to help pay her bills and student loans, court records show.
Cristina Warthen, 35, maintained a Web site called "Touchofbrazil.net,"
on which she advertised her services as "Brazil," discussed pricing -
up to $1,300 for two hours and $15,000 for three days - and posted erotic
pictures of herself, according to documents filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court
in San Jose.
Warthen is to appear in court later this month. Her attorney, Brian Getz,
declined to comment.
Starting in 2001, the year she graduated from law school, Warthen met with
clients in numerous cities around the country, authorities said. She used
clients' payments for rent and bills as well as installments on more than
$300,000 in student loans, authorities said.
Warthen "engaged in sexual acts in return for money" and grossed
$133,717 in 2003, authorities said. She has not been charged with prostitution.
She failed to pay $25,424 in taxes for 2003 but did have more than $36,000 in
cash in a safe deposit box at a Bank of America branch in Oakland, authorities
Warthen also allegedly hid $8,020 in her apartment and $16,891 in a storage
locker. She also stashed more than $2,400 in $100 bills in a law-school textbook
that investigators found in the trash, authorities said.
Internal Revenue Service investigators seized the cash as part of a civil
forfeiture action in federal court in 2004, the same year she married David
Warthen, co-founder of the search engine Ask Jeeves, now known as Ask.com.
David Warthen filed court papers demanding return of the money, saying that
the funds were stored at the home and bank so that the couple could have
"ready access to cash." He said he gave the money to her in 2003
"for the benefit of both of them."
The civil case was settled in 2006.
SAN JOSE, Calif.—A Stanford law school graduate is facing tax evasion
charges over thousands of dollars she was allegedly paid while working as a
In court papers filed in San Jose federal court Tuesday, prosecutors allege
that Cristina Warthen failed to pay taxes on more than $133,000 they say she
earned as a prostitute in 2003.
Warthen -- then Cristina Schultz -- first came to the attention of the
federal government several years ago when authorities seized more than $61,000
in cash from her home
Since then, the 34-year-old Schultz has married David Warthen, the
co-founder of the online search engine Ask Jeeves, now known as Ask.com.
A lawyer for Christina Warthen declined to comment on the charges.
Warthen is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 16.