Former Caesars Palace Nightclub Owner, Head Doorman Plead Guilty to Tax Crimes
Steve Davidovici, formerly a part-owner and manager of the Pure Nightclub located within the 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. The Justice Department and IRS-CI also announced that Mikel Hasen, the former head doorman at the Pure Nightclub, likewise pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false federal income tax return for the 2006 tax year. U.S. District Court Judge Kent Dawson presided over both plea hearings.
According to information disclosed at the plea hearings, during the years 2005, 2006 and 2007, in addition to fees charged for admission to the nightclub, some of Pure’s patrons made cash payments to Pure door personnel and “VIP hosts” to bypass the general admissions line and to obtain more desirable seating. This money was collected, pooled and generally distributed on a weekly basis to the door personnel and VIP hosts, as well as to managers of Pure such as Davidovici and Hasen. In Hasen’s case, distributions from this “tip pool” comprised the bulk of his compensation during the time he worked at Pure. Davidovici and Hasen each concealed large amounts of this income from the IRS.
Davidovici’s and Hasen’s sentencings are set for June 27, 2012, at 9 a.m.
“With the April 15 tax deadline looming, it is important for people to have confidence that when they pay their taxes, their neighbors and competitors will do the same,” said Paul Camacho, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, Las Vegas Field Office.
Two VIP hosts under Davidovici’s supervision, Ali (Sean) Olyaie and Richard Chu, have also pleaded guilty to tax crimes for failing to report income earned at Pure. At their respective plea hearings, Olyaie and Chu likewise admitted filing false federal income tax returns for 2006. Olyaie and Chu are also awaiting sentencing.
This 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 www.usdoj.gov/tax/.