An Indictment for Frank

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Plea negotiations apparently having failed, another, perhaps final, chapter has begun in the Frank Colacurcio saga, which dates back to the 1950s and weaves through a maze of courtrooms and prisons. A probe announced last year has today turned into the indictment of the 92-year-old stripper king and others, announced by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle. A July 24 arraignment is set for Colacurcio, his son Frankie, and four partners. All are charged with racketeering, money laundering and mail fraud related to three of their nude dancing operations and allegations of prostitution within them. As SW reported last July, a 179-page FBI search warrant claimed that four Colacurcio nudie clubs took in altogether nearly $1 million a month during the 16-month period that investigators were counting.

The feds allege that the Colacurcios' key marketing element was one-on-one sex at the clubs, something the Franks deny, although the FBI says it has wiretaps and eyewitnesses to support its claims. "The business model at each of the four clubs is the same, the promotion and facilitation of prostitution," the FBI says in court documents.

At the family's most profitable club, Rick's in Lake City, as many as 80 fully nude dancers can work the floor and stages daily. The revenue pours in from the $10 cover and $5 price tag on nonalcoholic drinks, along with the condom machines in the restrooms. The Colacurcios also charge their dancers to work there, requiring up to $130 from each in nightly "rent." In one three-month period, they generated $3.8 million in rent revenues alone for the Colacurcios, the FBI says.

Some of the clubs' income, the feds say, was also skimmed off before it could be taxed and recorded, a scheme that worked so well the Colacurcios had to rent an apartment to store the cash. That could be one of the reasons father Frank was able to greet strangers at the door of his fenced-off $1.2 million Sheridan Beach home, as he did when a law-enforcement task force rolled up unannounced June 2, 2008, with a $10,000 roll of cash in his bathrobe pocket, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Frank Sr. has been to prison six times--for criminal racketeering and tax skimming, among other weaknesses--starting in 1943, when the then-25-year-old Bellevue truck farmer served two years for carnal knowledge of a girl, 16. He never seemed to take his sentences too seriously, however. He once said the worst thing about prison wasn't the time or the food but the women--there just weren't any.

 
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