"I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my, or any, sense of right and wrong," Spitzer said Monday with his wife by his side, just hours after news broke of his involvement with the ring.
Federal investigators say Spitzer, as governor, had been a regular customer of a prostitution business known as the Emperor's Club.
According to an FBI affidavit, Client 9, identified by authorities as Spitzer, arranged for a prostitute named "Kristen" to travel from New York to Washington, D.C. She met Spitzer, who had registered under the pseudonym George Fox, in Room 871 of the Mayflower Hotel, collecting $4,300 in cash from Spitzer.
In a phone call secretly recorded by the FBI, Kristen later told her boss in New York about the event, dismissing concerns that Spitzer might demand "unsafe things."
Federal authorities say the investigation began last October when the IRS received a report from a bank about suspicious activity connected to an account controlled by Spitzer.
Initially believing the activity could involve bribes, the Justice Department asked the FBI's public corruption squad to join the investigation.
It was only later, authorities say, that federal agents learned Spitzer had been moving the money to pay for the prostitutes. They say his movement of "tens of thousands of dollars" to pay for sex with call girls from the Emperor's Club may have violated federal money laundering laws.
Ironically, the financial crimes he may be charged with are some of the same crimes he prosecuted as New York's attorney general in his meteoric rise to prominence.