Strip Club Owner, Six Others, Arrested and Charged with Drug Trafficking and Racketeering Charges
Suspects Vladimir Handl, Michael Rose, Peter Scalise, David Gaither, Richard Leyland, Edwin Hetherton, and Paul Fink were all arrested in various cities around the country, and charged with a large racketeering and money laundering scheme. Handl, Scalise, Gaither, and Rose were all arrested in South Carolina. Rose is the former owner of The Gold Club.
The racketeering indictment alleges that Rose and Handl were businessmen in the Myrtle Beach area who opened a series of restaurants, night clubs, and strip clubs. Along with their co-conspirators Gaither and Scalise, the indictment alleges, the men conspired to conduct several federally illegal acts including money laundering, bank fraud, racketeering, and drug trafficking while using their businesses as a front.
“Handl and Rose operated and controlled separate businesses. Rose operated several strip clubs in South Carolina, Delaware and New Hampshire under the name ‘The Gold Club.’ He also licensed the use of the name ‘The Gold Club’ to franchisees throughout the U.S.,” according to FBI officials.
Between 2011 and 2015, the defendants accepted, knowingly, over $2.3 million that they knew or believed to be fraudulently diverted currency from a bankruptcy court proceeding, or laundered money from drug trafficking through their businesses, including Rose’s strip clubs.
Handl and Fink also face charges of conspiring to acquire cocaine to sell, as well as cocaine possession.
With the numerous racketeering and drug trafficking charges, each defendant faces at least 20 years’ in prison, and most of them face potentially thousands of years in prison. Handl, who faces the most serious racketeering charges, could be sentenced to 2,440 years in jail.
“All men are expected to to make appearances in San Francisco in connection with the indictment filed in the federal district court in the Northern District of California,” according to officials.
Defending South Carolina RICO & Racketeering Charges
RICO is the acronym for a law that is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which is a federal law that allows investigators to arrest nationwide scammers, corrupt businessmen, and drug kingpins.
The RICO act is broad and covers a variety of white collar crimes including:
- the transportation and distribution of drugs,
- theft/armed robbery,
- money laundering, and
The Strom Law Firm Defends Complex Federal Cases Involving Racketeering Charges and Drug Trafficking
If you are a South Carolina resident and you face RICO charges including racketeering charges, wire fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud, bribery, money laundering, extortion, embezzlement, or gambling conspiracy, you could face decades in prison and massive court fees and fines. It is important that you contact a South Carolina federal criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The RICO/racketeering defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand the complexity of federal litigation and criminal charges. We offer a free, confidential consultation to discuss the facts of your case and to see if we can help, so contact us today. 803.252.4800