Wednesday, June 19 2013 1:30 PM EDT2013-06-19 17:30:30 GMT
HENDERSON, Nev. -- The killing of a woman in 1996 has police asking the public for help in solving the cold case crime. Diane Hietbrink, 58, was found dead in her home at 302 Nebraska Street on Sept.More>>
The killing of a woman in 1996 has police asking the public for help in solving the cold case crime.More>>
HBO and James Gandolfini's managers say the actor famous for his role in "The Sopranos" has died in Italy.More>>
James Gandolfini, whose portrayal of a brutal, emotionally delicate mob boss in HBO's "The Sopranos" helped create one of TV's greatest drama series and turned the mobster stereotype on its head, died Wednesday in...More>>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 8:25 PM EDT2013-06-20 00:25:44 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- A U.S. District Judge has sentenced a Henderson man to 15 years in federal prison for multiple child pornography offenses. Richard Carl Brown, 35, was convicted in February on several charges,More>>
A U.S. District Judge has sentenced a Henderson man to 15 years in federal prison for multiple child pornography offenses.More>>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 7:06 PM EDT2013-06-19 23:06:17 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Obesity is an epidemic that's plagued our nation for decades. The American Medical Association now labels obesity a disease. There are 78 million obese adults and 12 million obese children. ElectedMore>>
Elected officials are trying to combat the obesity crisis in Las Vegas. On Wednesday, the Las Vegas City Council passed a resolution that increases access to healthy food options in under served areas.More>>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 6:52 PM EDT2013-06-19 22:52:04 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are reopening their academy so they can put 50 new police officers on the streets. The police academy graduated its last class in Jan. 2012. The money for the additional officersMore>>
Metro Police are reopening their academy so they can put 50 new police officers on the streets.More>>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 6:43 PM EDT2013-06-19 22:43:29 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Old-fashioned police work, combined with cutting-edge scientific methods, is solving crimes every day across Las Vegas. After almost 36 years, the head of Metro's crime lab is retiring.More>>
Old-fashioned police work, combined with cutting-edge scientific methods, is solving crimes every day across Las Vegas.More>>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 6:26 PM EDT2013-06-19 22:26:47 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The city of North Las Vegas is desperate to fix its vast foreclosure problems and is considering using its eminent domain powers. Eminent domain is usually meant to take over buildings inMore>>
The city of North Las Vegas is desperate to fix its vast foreclosure problems and is considering using its eminent domain powers.More>>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 4:38 PM EDT2013-06-19 20:38:39 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are investigating a crash involving a motorcyclist and a truck. Police say the motorcyclist slammed into the back of a truck on the Sahara westbound exit from I-15 south. TheMore>>
Metro Police are investigating a crash involving a motorcyclist and a truck.More>>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 3:33 PM EDT2013-06-19 19:33:59 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Sue Lowden, a former state senator and the former chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party is considering a run for lieutenant governor in 2014. "I am seriously thinking about it. I willMore>>
Sue Lowden, a former state senator and the former chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party is considering a run for lieutenant governor in 2014.More>>
LAS VEGAS -- A major player in the Las Vegas adult entertainment industry is speaking out about rampant prostitution masquerading as outcall entertainment. Dolores Eliades, whose family name is almost synonymous with adult nightclubs in Las Vegas, is cooperating with the Internal Revenue Service and Metro Police in a probe of alleged money laundering by the owners of the outcall services.
Eliades, who spoke exclusively to the I-Team, said the outcall racket is out of control and is a threat to Las Vegas. She has owned and managed strip clubs for years. Her family has been in the business even longer and she is well aware that sex is part of the Las Vegas image. She's certainly no prude, but thinks the outcall business is a blight with its handbillers, smutty news racks and rolling billboards advertising hookers. She said it could hurt Las Vegas in the long run and that's why she showed up at the office of the IRS one day and spilled a sordid pile of beans about how the outcall business has invaded strip clubs.
Eliades believes she is in danger for cooperating. "I believe so, yes," she said.
Interfere with someone's ability to earn millions of dollars, as Eliades has, and there are bound to be consequences. She said she's already been warned.
"I'd better be careful, my life isn't worth much anymore," she added.
Eliades is a rarity, a woman who has succeeded in the decidedly male world of strip club owners and operators. She's been both manager and part-owner of two of the most successful topless joints in town: Olympic Garden and Sapphires.
Earlier this month, Eliades' name surfaced in a criminal complaint filed in federal court, not as a target but as a voluntary witness against another veteran of the adult scene, Manny Varagiannis, who had been the general manager at Olympic Garden. He was also secretly running another business, police said, an outcall service called Midnight Entertainers. According to the financial crimes task force, that business, like most, if not all outcall services, is a thinly disguised front for prostitution.
The handbillers pushing smutty pamphlets on the Strip and the taxi drivers who accept referral fees all know what the business is. Eliades says her friend and co worker admitted as much.
"He came and told me he was going into the outcall business. We were friends. I asked what it was. He said, 'an escort service,' and I said, 'I think it's prostitution, isn't it?' He said, 'it does take place.'"
Whatever service it provides, Midnight is still up and running, even after Varagiannis' arrest. Call the number and they will still send an entertainer to your hotel room. Lawyers for the defendant noted in court that Manny's name appears nowhere on any ownership documents, but the complaint alleges that he and his wife control the flow of cash.
The IRS and Metro Police were watching as Varagiannis allegedly tried to hide more than $1.8 million in different accounts by making deposits under the $10,000 limit, sometimes several deposits per day into each account.
Eliades said she saw the piles of money with her own eyes.
"He counted money in front of me on several occasions. He told me it was from the evening before, sometimes in excess of $20,000 or $30,000. It was huge, and that was after paying transportation," Eliades said.
By transportation, she means kickbacks to cab and limo drivers, up to $200 per referral. At one point, Eliades said, Varagiannis offered her 30 percent of a new outcall company he planned to open.
"He told me they charge the customer $300 so if you are giving away more than half, where are you making your money? That's what I asked him. He said, 'We're making it on other things,' and I took that to be what it means. Sex?"
When Varagiannis started placing his outcall girls inside the Olympic Garden, which has both liquor and gaming licenses, Eliades said she decided to go to the IRS. Having women openly solicit for prostitution inside the club would be a serious problem.
"I thought it endangered the license of the club and my license even though I'm not there. It's a grave concern to me, so I co-operated," she said.
Eliades says she was offered immunity by the IRS but she declined, in part, because she is also entangled in a vicious legal fight with her father Pete Eliades in federal bankruptcy court.
Manny Varagiannis has been charged with what's called structuring, a form of money laundering. He surrendered his key employee license from the strip club after his arrest.
Eliades thinks the owners of outcall companies should be required to get privileged licenses to give law enforcement more control. We'll have more on that angle in the coming days.