Heidi Fleiss was released from prison Thursday and placed in a halfway house.
Fleiss spent 20 months at a federal prison in Dublin, Calif., for conspiracy, tax evasion and laundering call girl profits, said prison spokesman Dominic Gutierrez. As part of a plea bargain, she was also serving a concurrent state sentence of 18 months for attempted pandering.
Fleiss, who was arrested in 1995 after an undercover sting, will be released in six months if she does not violate custody rules, Gutierrez said.
At her sentencing, a tearful Fleiss apologized for running a business she blamed on her youth and bad choices. She told the cable television program "American Justice" in a show that aired last month that serving as a madam was hard work.
She also complained about life behind bars, calling it "horrible," and called for equal punishment for the men who used her services, including actor Charlie Sheen, who spent $53,000 on Fleiss' call girls in 1992.