It all started when this article showed up on the front page of the daily paper:
A month after a federal indictment was issued against them, Northwest strip club mogul Frank Colacurcio, Sr., and five others involved in his businesses appeared in court Friday to answer charges of racketeering, money laundering and facilitation of prostitution.
Facing U.S. District Court Judge Mary Alice Theiler, Colacurcio, his son, Frank Colacurcio, Jr., and longtime associate John Gilbert Conte Conte pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
In an grand jury indictment unsealed June 30, federal authorities accuse the Colacurcios and their associates of racketeering, using interstate commerce to facilitate prostitution, money laundering and mail fraud. At issue are allegations that the strip clubs -- Rick's in Seattle, Sugar's in Shoreline, Honey's in Everett and Fox's in Tacoma -- were used as fronts for prostitution that allegedly garnered the men $25 million in the past four years.
The indictment follows a years-long investigation that culminated in June 2008 with raids by Seattle police and federal agents on the clubs and Talents West, a Colacurcio-owned agency that hires dancers for the clubs. Speaking following the indictment, U.S. Attorney for Western Washington Jeffrey Sullivan said federal prosecutors have interviewed more than 200 witnesses, and reviewed hours of recorded phone calls, surveillance video and intercepts from listening devices placed in several Colacurcio businesses.
Key to the prosecutors' case, according to court documents, is the payment scheme in which strippers paid $75 to $130 in daily "rent" to the Colacurcio businesses. Such an arrangement is common in Washington strip clubs, which are not allowed to sell liquor to generate profit.
"These men made millions of dollars exploiting young women," Sullivan said at the time. "These girls were not paid to dance, they paid to dance."
When the illegal activity became apparently, Sullivan contended, little was done to discipline dancers.
In court documents, the Colacurcios are also accused of avoided City of Seattle taxes by undercounting the number of patrons at Rick's. Each defendant faces nine counts of mail fraud on the allegation that they knowingly mailed false tax documents to the city.
Authorities have said the investigation was not directly related to the Strippergate corruption scandal, in which the Colacurcios were accused of making illegal campaign contributions to Seattle City Council members in order to secure a change in zoning laws. Father and son Colacurcio ultimately pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in the case, which ended the political careers of two City Council candidates in 2003.
Also indicted in U.S. District Court in Seattle were Frank Colacurcio Sr.'s nephew Leroy Richard Christiansen, longtime associates Conte and David Carl Ebert, and Fox's manager Steven Michael Fueston. Several associated businesses are also named in the criminal indictment, which could allow federal authorities to seize related assets. The men who didn't enter a plea Friday are expected to do so at a later date.
The accused face up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted on the 15 counts against each of them. They are scheduled to be arraigned July 24 and remain free pending trial.
Jimmy read this and fell asleep to a very strange dream...
It all started when our antagonizing protagonist, Jimmy Smart, woke up in a foxy forest. It was the eighth time it had happened. Feeling abnormally stunned, Jimmy Smart slapped a live hand grenade, thinking it would make him feel better (but as usual, it did not). Before anyone could take off their pants, he realized that his beloved dads Sivler Star was missing! Immediately he called his favorite rape victim, Bobby. Jimmy Smart had known Bobby for (plus or minus) 11,000 years, the majority of which were sassy ones. Bobby was unique. She was smart though sometimes a little ... funny-smelling. Jimmy Smart called her anyway, for the situation was urgent.
Bobby picked up to a very unhappy Jimmy Smart. Bobby calmly assured him that most long-haired sea monkeys belch before mating, yet man-eating capybaras usually flamboyantly grimace after mating. She had no idea what that meant; she was only concerned with distracting Jimmy Smart. Why was Bobby trying to distract Jimmy Smart? Because she had snuck out from Jimmy Smart's with the dads Sivler Star only two days prior. It was a flamboyant little dads Sivler Star ... how could she resist?
It didn't take long before Jimmy Smart got back to the subject at hand: his dads Sivler Star. Bobby sighed. Relunctantly, Bobby invited him over, assuring him they'd find the dads Sivler Star. Jimmy Smart grabbed his hippopotamus and disembarked immediately. After hanging up the phone, Bobby realized that she was in trouble. She had to find a place to hide the dads Sivler Star and she had to do it carefully. She figured that if Jimmy Smart took the tricycle, she had take at least eleven minutes before Jimmy Smart would get there. But if he took the bicycle? Then Bobby would be barely screwed.
Before she could come up with any reasonable ideas, Bobby was interrupted by two funny-smelling wharf rats that were lured by her dads Sivler Star. Bobby cringed; 'Not again', she thought. Feeling displeased, she aimlessly reached for her potato and recklessly backhanded every last one of them. Apparently this was an adequate deterrent--the discouraged critters began to scurry back toward the foxy forest, squealing with discontent. She exhaled with relief. That's when she heard the bicycle rolling up. It was Jimmy Smart.
As he pulled up, he felt a sense of urgency. He had had to make an unscheduled stop at IHOP to pick up a 12-pack of live hand grenades, so he knew he was running late. With a apt leap, Jimmy Smart was out of the bicycle and went indiscriminately jaunting toward Bobby's front door. Meanwhile inside, Bobby was panicking. Not thinking, she tossed the dads Sivler Star into a box of carrots and then slid the box behind her refrigerator. Bobby was worried but at least the dads Sivler Star was concealed. The doorbell rang.
'Come in, ' Bobby flamboyantly purred. With a quick push, Jimmy Smart opened the door. 'Sorry for being late, but I was being chased by some annoying flaming idiot in a curb-jumping ghetto sled (Impala), ' he lied. 'It's fine, ' Bobby assured him. Jimmy Smart took a seat exotically proximate to where Bobby had hidden the dads Sivler Star. Bobby grimaced trying unsuccessfully to hide her nervousness. 'Uhh, can I get you anything?' she blurted. But Jimmy Smart was distracted. Before anyone could take off their pants, Bobby noticed a annoying look on Jimmy Smart's face. Jimmy Smart slowly opened his mouth to speak.
' ... What's that smell?'
Bobby felt a stabbing pain in her double chin when Jimmy Smart asked this. In a moment of disbelief, she realized that she had hidden the dads Sivler Star right by her oscillating fan. 'Wh-what? I don't smell anything... !' A lie. A abrasive look started to form on Jimmy Smart's face. He turned to notice a box that seemed clearly out of place. 'Th-th-those are just my grandma's ninja stars from when she used to have pet venomous koalas. She, uh ... dropped 'em by here earlier'. Jimmy Smart nodded with fake acknowledgement ... then, before Bobby could react, Jimmy Smart thoughtfully lunged toward the box and opened it. The dads Sivler Star was plainly in view.
Jimmy Smart stared at Bobby for what what must've been seven seconds. Suddenly inspired by the wise teachings of Confuscious, Bobby groped sassily in Jimmy Smart's direction, clearly desperate. Jimmy Smart grabbed the dads Sivler Star and bolted for the door. It was locked. Bobby let out a electric chuckle. 'If only you hadn't been so protective of that thing, none of this would have happened, Jimmy Smart, ' she rebuked. Bobby always had been a little funny-smelling, so Jimmy Smart knew that reconciliation was not an option; he needed to escape before Bobby did something crazy, like ... start chucking carrots at her or something. Suddenly cheered up by the Hamtaro theme song, he gripped his dads Sivler Star tightly and made a dash toward the window, diving headlong through the glass panels.
Bobby looked on, blankly. 'What the hell? That seemed excessive. The other door was open, you know.' Silence from Jimmy Smart. 'And to think, I varnished that window frame nine days ago ... it never ends!' Suddenly she felt a tinge of concern for Jimmy Smart. 'Oh. You ... okay?' Still silence. Bobby walked over to the window and looked down. Jimmy Smart was gone.
Just yonder, Jimmy Smart was struggling to make his way through the magical cornfield behind Bobby's place. Jimmy Smart had severely hurt his shin during the window incident, and was starting to lose strength. Another pack of feral wharf rats suddenly appeared, having caught wind of the dads Sivler Star. One by one they latched on to Jimmy Smart. Already weakened from his injury, Jimmy Smart yielded to the furry onslaught and collapsed. The last thing he saw before losing consciousness was a buzzing horde of wharf rats running off with his dads Sivler Star.
But then God came down with His clever smile and restored Jimmy Smart's dads Sivler Star. Feeling stunned, God smote the wharf rats for their injustice. Then He got in His magic flying carpet and blasted away with the fortitude of 153 Indonesian devil cats running from a big pack of venomous koalas. Jimmy Smart fell with joy when he saw this. His dads Sivler Star was safe. It was a good thing, too, because in six minutes his favorite TV show, Truth or Consequences, was going to come on (followed immediately by 'When South American hissing sloths meet unborn fetus'). Jimmy Smart was giddy. And so, everyone except Bobby and a few rusty razor blade-toting disease-carrying chipmunks lived blissfully happy, forever after.