Monday, September 27, 2010

Frank Colacurcio Jr. Sentenced to Prison in Strip Club Case

Colacurcio Jr. Forfeits Millions in Cash and Property

FRANK COLACURCIO JR, 48, and corporate defendant MM MR RM CORPORATION were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle for conspiracy to commit RICO—Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations. COLACURCIO, JR. agreed to forfeit $1.3 million in cash, all interest in the strip clubs and related property worth more than $6 million, and a $1.7 million property at
8600 Lake City Way
which houses the Colacurcio company “Talents West.” COLACUCIO, JR. was sentenced to one year and a day in prison as called for in the plea agreement signed in June 2010.

Frank Colacurcio, Sr. died in June 2010, still under indictment for the RICO conspiracy. The charges were dismissed against Colacurcio Sr. after his death. During the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones told COLACURCIO, JR. “It appears you followed in the footsteps of your father your entire life.... You are at a crossroads right now in what you do in your life. It is up to you, depending on your conduct, to ensure there is no sequel.” Judge Jones observed that COLACURCIO, JR. was “on the radar screen of the government,” and the judge noted that prosecutors would not hesitate to ask that COLACURCIO, JR. be sent back to prison if he violated the terms of his supervised release.

“With the permanent closure of these strip clubs, divesting the defendants of millions of dollars, and the transfer of the club properties to the government, Seattle is now a safer and cleaner place to live,” said Marcus Williams, the IRS Special Agent in Charge of the Pacific Northwest. “In the end, crime never pays, and the results of this investigation prove that.”

In April 2010, the first group of defendants, all Colacurcio associates, entered guilty pleas and the strip club properties were closed. The strip clubs run by this organization include Rick’s in Seattle, Fox’s in Parkland, Pierce County, Honey’s in Everett and Sugar’s in Shoreline. With this final sentencing, the government will move to take control of the Rick’s, Sugar’s and Talents West properties and put them up for sale. The proceeds of the sales will go to the U.S. Treasury. The government will receive payment equal to the appraised value of Honey’s, and the building has been bulldozed. The corporations and three of the individual defendants—Leroy Richard Christiansen, 68, of Seattle, Washington, David Carl Ebert, 62, of Monroe, Washington and Steven Michael Fueston, 62, of Tacoma, Washington—are barred from operating any adult entertainment business in Washington State for the next five years.

As part of his plea agreement, FRANK COLACURCIO, JR. is also barred from participating in any adult entertainment enterprise in the state of Washington for the three-year term of supervised release which will follow his prison sentence.

The assets of the Colacurcio organization were frozen by the government in June 2008 following a two-year investigation. Members of the conspiracy were indicted in June 2009. The indictment lays out the actions members of the conspiracy took to promote prostitution at the clubs and their failure to stop prostitution when it was reported to them. In various recorded conversations, the Colacurcios and their associates dissuaded dancers and managers from reporting acts of prostitution and repeatedly returned dancers who were arrested for and caught in acts of prostitution back to the clubs. The indictment further details how credit card machines and ATMs were used to facilitate the prostitution and how the proceeds of prostitution were laundered through various bank accounts.

Writing to the court, prosecutors noted that this sentencing is a final chapter in a long running criminal enterprise. “The court’s sentences will ensure that the notorious strip clubs stay closed and that the men who operated the strip clubs be severed completely from the businesses and properties they used to run their illegal operations. And in a final blow that truly strikes at the heart of the defendants’ motivations—namely money—the court’s sentences will ban the defendants from the industry and force them to transfer millions of dollars in real property and assets to the government.... The doors of Rick’s, Sugar’s, Honey’s, and Fox’s will finally be closed for good,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.

The case was investigated by the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Seattle Police Department with assistance from the King County Sheriff’s Department, Everett Police Department, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Todd Greenberg and Tessa Gorman.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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