According to yesterday’s Las Vegas Sun column by John Katsilometes: “Multiple sources familiar with Club Paradise operations have reported credit-card complaints from inside the nightclub during opening weekend in January (one tourist from Canada wound up with charges exceeding $20,000 …)”
What? Again? I thought this bad juju had played out when the club reopened in January under reportedly “new management.”
It was allegations of credit card fraud that got the club closed last summer by Las Vegas Metro and the FBI. (See: “Club Paradise is now Club Purgatory” and “Club Paradise Petitions Police to Reopen.” and “Club Paradise Closed by the Police (and IRS)!”)
New Management at Club Paradise Fired to Make Way for Old Mobsters?
Apparently, the new owner, Steve Paik, is having a lot of problems. For one thing, soon after the club’s reopening, he dismissed the management team he used to get the club functioning.
At least one of those dismissed–a longtime Vegas strip club insider with a sterling reputation in the industry–had worked for weeks to put together a first-rate new staff for the club, only to discover he’d been used by Paik for his supplier and personnel connections. Shortly after the reopening he was terminated.
Meanwhile, John Katsilometes was writing that reported mobster Sam Cecola, the club’s owner during the time of the original credit card fraud complaints, was running around the club as if he still owned it.
Then two weeks ago, according to Katz, there was a shoving match inside the club between a manager and one of the club’s promoters, which turned into an altercation in the club’s parking lot in which the promoter was wielding a tire iron or some kind of similar tool. That manager has been fired and is considering a lawsuit alleging a hostile work environment.
The former owner–mob-connected Sam Cecola, who has done prison time for defrauding the IRS and is barred from holding a liquor or business license in Las Vegas–continues to come and go, meeting at the club with Paik and another Chicago strip club owner for reasons unknown.
Cecola’s continued interest in the club may be due to the reported $300,000 Paik still owes him for the purchase.
Steve Paik, who also operates strip clubs in Philadelphia and Atlantic City, is a neophyte to the Vegas market, and if Sam Cecola is his “consultant” on how to operate here, Club Paradise may soon again be Club Closed.