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Press Release

Former Caesars Palace Nightclub Host Pleads Guilty to Tax Crime

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

WASHINGTON – Richard Chu, a former "VIP host" at Pure Nightclub located in Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of filing a false federal income tax return for the 2006 tax year, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS - CI) announced today. U.S. District Court Judge Kent Dawson presided over the plea hearing.

According to information disclosed at Chu’s guilty plea hearing, during the years 2005, 2006 and 2007, Chu’s responsibilities as a VIP host at Pure included promoting the club, booking reservations and seating patrons at tables.  In addition to paying an admission fee, Pure patrons typically made payments to Pure door personnel and VIP hosts to bypass the general admission line and to obtain more desirable seating. This money was collected, pooled and distributed on a weekly basis to Pure managers, door personnel and VIP hosts, including Chu. Chu’s distributions from the pool comprised the bulk of his compensation during the time he worked at Pure. Chu concealed large amounts of this income from the IRS.

Chu’s sentencing is set for Feb. 9, 2011 at 9:00 am.

"Tax evasion is not a victimless crime," said Victor Song, Chief, IRS - Criminal Investigation. "We all pay when someone like Mr. Chu pockets his income without paying taxes. Here’s a sure tip from the IRS . . . working with the Department of Justice, we will continue to investigate and prosecute those who ignore our country’s tax laws."

The case is being investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Tax Division Trial Attorneys Christopher J. Maietta and Joseph A. Rillotta.

More information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division and its enforcement efforts is available at

Updated September 15, 2014

Press Release Number: 10-1274