New York Post - February 6, 2011
YOU GOT SERVED! NY'S LEGAL WEASELS TO THE STARS
By: Heather Haddon
This service comes not with a smile, but with fake strippers, wedding crashers and limo chasers.
For more than three decades, the process servers at Serving by Irving have carried divorce papers, subpoenas and steamy lawsuits to the stars.
And they use some pretty sexy disguises to slip into exclusive locations to serve their prey.
"I'll wear a little skirt with spiked heels," said Maggie Moor, a process server who uses her acting experience -- and long legs -- to weasel her way to the doorsteps of city CEOs. Other servers pose as strippergrams to get into buildings.
"I'll pretend that he's expecting me," said Moor, who has also dressed as a nurse to serve doctors. Once, she pretended to be a carnival performer to serve a circus owner.
The company's 15 process servers have stalked playboys at escort services and donned suits to blend in at Nobu and Balthazar.
"They always fall for it," said Irving Botwinick, 64, the company's founder.
The City Hall-area outfit has targeted dozens of celebrities, including:
* Snoop Dogg, who was served outside Hot 97 in 2007 for allegedly using tracks from The Gap Band without permission. He tossed the papers out of his SUV.
* Ralph and Ricky Lauren, who were subpoenaed to testify in a divorce case.
* Julio Iglesias, who was served a deposition notice at the Russian Tea Room.
* Mariah Carey, who was sued by her stepfather.
* Gisele Bundchen, who was served at a runway show.
* Bernie Madoff, who was already behind bars, was served with boxes of lawsuits.
Past clients have included Ronald Reagan, Ivana Trump and Billy Joel.
The gutsy servers even crashed Michel Douglas' wedding during the cocktail hour to hit an actor with a breach-of-contract suit.
"You just mosey in like you belong," said Botwinick.
Athletes are commonly slapped with paternity suits, while musicians are often involved in copyright disputes. Some bigwigs don't know they are about to get divorced until the server shows up. And these days, corporate embezzlement is big business.
Process servers readily admit that they fib. Just about every ruse is fair game -- except hiding legal documents in another delivery, such as a bouquet of flowers.
Plaintiffs and their lawyers will pay $175 an hour for the hard-to-nail cases, with the tab often running into the thousands.
"The secret is being street-smart," said Andrew Botwinick, 43, who started in his dad's firm when he was in high school. "You can't be from Ohio."