Celebrating his 93rd birthday today, nude-dancing impressario and seven-time ex-con Frank Colacurcio has just asked the federal court for a neatly wrapped gift - dismissal of the criminal conspiracy and racketeering charges that threaten to send the stripper king to prison for his eighth felony. He is also increasingly suffering from the debilities of old age and has filed sealed documents detailing medical ailments that could affect the government's efforts to prosecute him.
In papers filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, Colacurcio's attorney Irwin Schwartz and U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan jointly asked that Frank's medical record be sealed, which a judge approved last week. Said the joint filing:
The motion addresses medical matters, in which Mr. Colacurcio has a federally recognized privacy interest. The parties believe that the privacy interest outweighs the public interest at this time, and that the motion should not be a matter of public record at this time, although the subject matter may soon become a matter of public record.
Some observers see that as an indication that a walk-away (or wheelchair-away) guilty plea by the old man is looming. He and his son Frankie are the last two defendants still facing trial in the ongoing federal indictment involving widespread prostitution at Colacurcio's former nude dance clubs, all them closed as part of plea-bargaining deals with the two Franks' former partners. Frankie, however, has not yet asked for dismissal of the charges against him.
Any pleas might not come until after the court rules on a new effort by Schwartz to have the three racketeering and conspiracy charges dropped on the basis that they're unconstitutionally brought. The RICO and money laundering accusations are the essence of the case and if they are tossed, that would leave only mail fraud charges.
Says Schwartz in his argument:
Defendant Frank Colacurcio, Sr. moves to dismiss Counts 1, 2 and 3 of the indictment. Those counts fail, for they all are based on charged violations of Washington's prostitution laws, which far exceed in scope the "generic" or "contemporary meaning" of prostitution...
At the heart of the three counts is an allegation that the defendants acted "in violation" of three Washington statutes...Count 1 charges a RICO conspiracy with three predicate offenses, two of which are violation of the Travel Act and money laundering. All three counts rest, therefore on a foundation of the Washington statutes, and they cannot serve as predicate offenses because of their breadth in criminalizing conduct beyond the scope of the federal statutes. The Washington statutes are so broad, that they also may not be relied upon for they violate the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
The court yesterday set arguments on the dismissal for next month.