According to Alfred Phillip Alire, he was terribly afraid of his wife, Li Yan Alire, who used their three Irvine apartments for prostitution in league with mysterious Chinese businessmen.
Alire admitted that he'd been suspicious that his wife routinely ordered him to pick up Asian women who spoke no English, drive them to one of his apartments--on Giotto Avenue, Las Palmas and Shadow Oaks--and hand them bags. He also claimed that he didn't know the bags contained condoms and lube, or that the messes he cleaned up inside involved, well, sexual aftermaths.
That was Alire's story during his 2010 trial in Orange County Superior Court and that's what he stuck with when he appealed his pimp and pandering conviction won by the OC District Attorney's office.
But undercover Irvine police officers said they observed a busy prostitution business "coming and going at all hours of the day and night" based on advertisements at Backpage.com (owned by the Weekly's parent company, Village Voice Media, Inc.), Craigslist and The Orange County Register.
(This revelation, of course, makes me laugh because over the years I stopped counting the number of times snobby, two-faced Register corporate executives have acted superior to Weekly staff as if only their "massage" ads were legitimate.)
A 2008 police raid on the apartment found $7,125 in a kitchen cabinet, $6,000 inside a vacuum cleaner, $5,680 in a suitcase, $442 hidden between sofa cushions, $1,130 in an envelope, $795 in a backpack, customer pay sheets, lubricant gel everywhere, condoms everywhere including the refrigerator and a video camera system hidden in the master bedroom closet as well as a living room wall.
(The sex fee? One of the Chinese prostitutes--hired from an ad in a California Chinese newspaper--testified that she kept $90 of the $160 charge for a 30-minute intercourse encounter, according to court files.)
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In his appeal, the 5-foot-7 and 220-pound Alire--who turns 53 next week--claimed there was "insufficient" evidence that he was a pimp, but late this month a California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana considered his arguments and rejected them. He'll continue to serve his 3-year prison sentence.
Alire's 54-year-old wife was also convicted of pimping and pandering, but has not been sentenced.
According to court records, she is a fugitive.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly