A Winnipeg man has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to recruiting and directing two women to provide sexual services for hire.

The charge stemmed from a lengthy investigation by the Winnipeg Police Service’s counter-exploitation unit dubbed “Project Bluff.” Work that involved covert and undercover operations.

At a sentencing hearing for Ferosh Tailor, 34, late last month court heard he made contact with one of the women in June 2020 through a website called Only Fans where people can pay for images and videos from the owner of the account, and later recruited the second woman.

A rental property in Osborne Village was one of three apartments court heard was used by Tailor for what a Manitoba judge described during the sentencing on May 30, 2022, as a “sophisticated, well thought-out operation.”

An operation court heard involved recruiting and directing a 21-year-old woman and a 19-year-old woman to provide massages and sexual services to clients through appointments Tailor would schedule before Winnipeg police arrested and charged him with multiple offences and seized around $42,000 from a safe in his home.

“It was an unfair value for the work he did compared to what they had to do,” Staff Sgt. Maria Koniuck told reporters Friday.

Tailor pleaded guilty to one count of material benefit from sexual services. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

“That three years is very significant because you have an individual here who does not have a criminal record,” Koniuck said.

In an agreed statement of facts, the Crown told court Tailor first started interacting with the 21-year-old on her Only Fans account.

Court heard he told the woman he had an opportunity for her and she agreed to the work.

The Crown told court Tailor started arranging appointments between the woman and clients that included massages and sexual services, excluding intercourse at three rental properties.

She would leave him a cut of her earnings in the apartments, which totalled $3000.

Court heard a second woman, a 19-year-old, started working for Tailor and agreed to split her income with him and that both women were fearful of Tailor.

“We say that in the case of these two exploited individuals Mr. Tailor preyed on the complainants for his own profit,” the Crown told court during sentencing.

“We say this conduct is reprehensible and must be denounced which is why we say the three-year custodial sentence is appropriate.”

Martin Glazer, Tailor’s lawyer, told the court his client believed he was helping the women and himself make money but is now ashamed and remorseful.

“This was an illegal enterprise,” Glazer told the judge. “He went too far and for that decision he’s going to pay a heavy price today and that price is a penitentiary sentence with all the safety risks.”

Court heard Winnipeg police were granted warrants in the case to enter the apartments and observed Tailor picking up his cut of the money.

Officers also used money with pre-recorded serial numbers which were later found in Tailor’s safe.

Police said they want people to know officers are committed to protecting people from exploitation and perpetrators will be held accountable.

“I’ve seen where people who aren’t even in the sex trade are being asked to provide services,” Koniuck said. “It’s happening to youth that are just walking down the street. It’s not a victimless crime.” 

Police ask anyone with information or who wishes to speak to an investigator about crimes related to procuring sexual services or human trafficking to contact the counter exploitation unit at 204-986-3464 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-8477.