updated 5/12/2009 6:44:37 AM ET 2009-05-12T10:44:37

A woman is accused in California of making more than $8.5 million from an online prostitution business that claimed to employ porn stars and fashion models.

Michelle Braun appeared Monday in federal court in Orange County and was allowed to remain free pending her next pretrial hearing next month.

The Boca Raton, Fla., woman is accused of charging clients $50,000 or more to spend the night with adult film stars, models, and actresses, The Orange County Register reported. Prosecutors say she used her travel business to launder the money.

Braun pleaded not guilty in March to money laundering and transporting someone for prostitution purposes.

Prosecutors say she's expected to change her plea to guilty before her next hearing after reaching a plea deal on March 31.

The Orange County Register reported that the plea agreement indicates that prosecutors and Braun suggest the judge sentence her to five years of probation with no more than six months of home confinement, as well as a $30,000 fine.

She could have faced up to 18 months in prison.

Braun and her lawyer declined to comment.

Seventy-one women worked for Braun, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Kortum.

In his court filing, Kortum said the alleged ring was discovered after an undercover FBI agent submitted a membership application on Braun's Web site in March 2006.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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