Tag Archives: legal

Cathouse Management in Las Vegas in One Doozy of Vicious Legal Catfight

A recent article in the Las Vegas Sun details the lawsuit that CatHouse (in the Luxor) partner Seth Yudof and his company, Creative Eyes LLC, filed in Clark County District Court against companies and individuals involved in the CatHouse at the Luxor hotel-casino, including himself. The suit asks for a court order accounting of the finances of the CatHouse and that a receiver be appointed to preserve the property, capital and assets controlled by the defendants. The defendants include Heptagon LLC, Heptagon Trading LLC, Heptagon Holdings LLC, Billy Cross, Nick Landazuri, Mick Doohan, and Yudof who is the managing member of one of the companies he and Creative Eyes are suing. 

Creative Eyes and Yudof claim a breach of contract, fraud and conspiracy related to an alleged consulting agreement between Creative Eyes and one of the CatHouse companies. The 2007 agreement with Heptagon Trading was for creative and entertainment direction for the club. It continues stating that Creative Eyes was to be paid a consulting fee of $100,000 per year and given a 7.5 percent membership interest in Heptagon LLC. The suit claims that Yudof and Cross were supposed to jointly manage Heptagon LLC. The suit also claims that Cross in 2008 negotiated a $250,000 loan from the Luxor, without the knowledge of Yudof. 

It continues to state that last September, Creative Eyes’ biweekly checks dropped from $3,846 to $2,000 and that Yudof was denied access to the books, records, vendor lists and other documents of Heptagon LLC’s operating agreement. Along with claims of being threatened, intimidated and bullied by Cross and Landazuri, the suit charges that the defendants have used Yudof’s Social Security number and personal information to engage in transactions … which were not disclosed to plaintiffs. “The defendants … even went so far as to change the locks at the CatHouse … and informed the employees that Yudof was not to be left unsupervised in the venue.” The complaint also states that certain members are now attempting to liquidate Heptagon LLC without giving Yudof the right of first refusal to buy their membership shares, even though he has offered to buy out the other interests in the business for $2.4 million. 

Luxor executives supposedly have shown the CatHouse property to potential new suitors, saying it is available for lease.  No takers as of yet.   But rumors are flying that Vegas deal maker Jack Wishna is now in the picture with an offer to purchase The Cathouse and open other like venues in other location outside of Vegas. 

The CatHouse supposedly also recently banned Cris Angel from the property after he was suspected of daring a female patron dis-robe for $100.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Uncategorized

Animal Rights Groups Fighting Mad Over Dolphin Acquisitions at The Mirage in Las Vegas

As reported on by Las Vegas Backstage Access on June 7, the dolphin named Sgt. Pepper died on June 4 at The Mirage from complications from a lung infection. 

Now we learn that two days before the death, two animal rights groups, Born Free USA and The World Society for the Protection of Animals, filed a legal complaint against The Mirage’s petition to request to import two more dolphins for the Las Vegas resort’s habitat. 

On April 15, The Mirage placed an application with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service to import two captive Atlantic bottlenose dolphins form Bermuda for breeding purposes. 

The filed complaint alleges more dolphins shouldn’t be brought in because other dolphins had died in the past at the habitat, which the two groups claim is being used as a money-making enterprise rather than for educational or conservation purposes, as The Mirage contends.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Performances, Uncategorized

Controversy Swirls as Circus Comes to Las Vegas

The circus is back in Las Vegas, performing this weekend at the Orleans in Las Vegas.  The Ringling Brothers-Barnum and Bailey Circus arrived Tuesday night for their annual visit, but this year is different. The circus is awaiting a decision by a federal judge about whether it can continue to use endangered elephants in its act. elephant

Animal welfare groups have alleged for many years that what Ringling Brothers does is inherently cruel to elephants. Now, they’re waiting to see if a federal judge agrees with them. They hope this is the end of the line for more than a century of animal cruelty. The Ringling folks are just as confident that the show will go on. 

Animal activist Linda Faso has helped organize protests against every circus to hit Las Vegas for the last two decades, arguing it is inherently cruel to endangered Asian elephants to force them into the life of a traveling carny, and the proof is in the chaining of their feet. 

Some of the most pointed testimony to emerge in a six week federal trial focused on the feet of Ringling elephants. Nearly all of the animals have foot problems to one degree or another, not only because they spend most of their lives in chains, either in rail cars or on asphalt parking lots like the Orleans in Las Vegas, but also because elephants simply aren’t built to perform the kind of tricks they are taught for the circus. 

Former Ringling elephant handler Tom Rider was one of the star witnesses in the federal trial. He told the court there is only one way to get large, intelligent creatures to don funny outfits and perform amusing tricks, and that’s thru the use of pain and fear, as manifested in the use of the infamous bullhook. Ringling has compared the bullhook to a leash for dogs, but video captured around the country shows otherwise. 

The federal trial ended last March. The judge could decide that Ringling can no longer put elephants on the road and in the show. Even if the circus prevails in the case, the groups that sued believe they’ve already made an impact. 

At the Las Vegas unloading, the traditional bullhooks were nowhere to be seen, replaced instead by smaller, less menacing devices. It’s not enough, animal groups say. “I would assume that in various cities there are a lot more people watching now, so they are being more careful, and it’s just behind the scenes. I’m sure the elephants are being chained still, in boxcars which the general public doesn’t get to see,” said Nicole Paquett, attorney for Born Free USA. 

Paquett says the federal judge has scheduled more oral arguments to be held in July, so a decision won’t happen until after those sessions. But can Ringling carry on without its elephants? The animal welfare folks say yes and they point to the success of Cirque De Soleil shows in Las Vegas and throughout the world as an example.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Performances, Uncategorized

O.J. Simpson Memorabilia Headed to Court, Online Auction Block

The footballs, jerseys and framed photographs that put O.J. Simpson in a Nevada prison are now in the hands of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and then likely headed for the auction block.

Today, a court hearing dealing with the items confiscated from Simpson is scheduled in Santa Monica, California.

The items will most likely be auctioned on the Internet shortly to help satisfy a $33.5 million wrongful-death judgment against Simpson in 1997. 

Simpson’s attempt to retrieve the items by leading a handful of cohorts in a bungled stickup of memorabilia dealers in Las Vegas resulted in his being sentenced last year on armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges. 

Simpson is serving 9 to 33 years but on Monday he asked the Nevada Supreme Court to let him out of prison while it decides whether to overturn his conviction.

Leave a comment

Filed under Las Vegas, news, sports, Uncategorized

O.J. Simpsons ‘Buddy’ Clarence Stewart Files Legal Appeal

Just two days after O.J. Simpson’s legal team launched their appeal of his felony convictions, one of his co-conspirators, Clarence “C.J.” Stewart, has filed his own appeal looking to overturn his Las Vegas conviction on kidnapping and armed robbery. ClarenceStewart

While former NFL great Simpson claimed prosecutorial misconduct, Stewart claims he was not given a fair trial due to “spillover prejudice” because he was not given a separate trial from Simpson. 

Stewart also claims that audio recordings should not have been allowed into evidence but after that, his request coat-tails off of Simpson’s complaint by alleging the same juror and prosecutorial misconduct. 

Clarence Stewart is currently serving 7 1/2 to 27 years in a Lovelock Prison in Nevada. 

The other four original defendants, Michael McClinton, Walter Alexander, Charles Cashmore and Charles Ehrlich, all pleaded guilty to lesser charges in exchange for their testimony regarding Simpson’s September 2007 confrontation with sports memorabilia dealers at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.  All four were given probation.

Leave a comment

Filed under Las Vegas, news, sports, Uncategorized

Britney Spears’ Camp Slams Las Vegas College Kid

It’s never a dull day in ol’ Britneyland– always a circus, concert tour or not.

Jordan Miller, right, a 21-year-old University of Nevada, Las Vegas college student majoring in communicationsJordanMiller launched his breatheheavy.com Web site all about the pop star, literally out of a labor of love and admiration for the star, from his Summerlin, Nevada bedroom while being in high school in 2004. 

Now, his Web site gets a half-million visits a day. 

JamieSpearsMiller’s world started to turn upside down-last fall after he received an angry phone call from the Britney’s dad, Jamie Spears, left, accusing him of copyright infringement.

Miller is fighting back.  “I’m working my ass off to report on this girl,” Miller said from his attorney’s office.  “I just think [Britney] is a really cool artist; I feel inspired by her. It’s a healthy hobby.  It takes a lot of work and dedication, but it’s self-fulfilling.” 

Miller said father Jamie Spears replied, telling him:  “I am going to destroy your ass.” 

“I was really freaking out for a good three, four weeks,” Miller said, adding,  “Lately, I’ve been doing my own thing.  I just kind of want to keep going.” 

Each day, Miller scans the Internet for stories about Britney Spears, posting them on his Webs Site and adds his comments.  He also encourages her fans to send him concert photos and messages about her worldwide “Circus” tour.

Henderson, Nevada attorney Clarke Walton, who represents Miller pro bono, has been battling the Spears legal team tooth and nail. 

Spears’ New-York based attorney Brad Rose says the use of the star’s recordings, images, copyrighted works and trademarks constitutes actionable infringement under the law. 

Miller and Walton are puzzled that Team Spears would leave oodles of other fan sites alone and yet see fit to sic legal hounds on a kid who is simply a huge admirer of the singer.  Miller believes Jamie Spears is “trying to shut me down” simply because of Web site posted comments about the father’s control over his daughter.  Miller believe Jamie is keeping Britney a prisoner. 

And it’s not like Miller has an Internet goldmine- Miller pays $300 a month to keep the site going and receives an average of $100 each month from advertisers.  Miller is also not using images or lyrics for commercial purposes, like selling merchandise. 

“If they want to fight, I’d love this fight,” Walton said. “I feel confident we would win on the merits of this case.”

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Performances, Uncategorized

Las Vegas’ CityCenter Project Facing Collapse?

The very survival hangs in the balance for Las Vegas’ largest employer and the city’s largest construction project- and arguably one of the world’s largest and most expensive buildings.   MGM Mirage, operating nine Las Vegas Strip resorts and employing more than 61,000 workers, is now embroiled in a contentious lawsuit over the $9.1 billion, 76-acre CityCenter development with its half-shared partner, Dubai World through its Infinity World financial subsidiary.  dubaiworld

Analysts said the lawsuit filed Sunday casts a damaging dark cloud over the project and sends more negative signals on the overall financial health of MGM Mirage.   According to the lawsuit, Dubai World, a 50-50 joint venture partner in the CityCenter project, is seeking unspecified damages and wants to be relieved of its obligation under the companies’ agreement, which was struck in August 2007. 

Dubai World, a world-leading business conglomerate suffering from a two-thirds drop in their oil prices – leading some to question if the lawsuit is merely trying to sever their joint venture agreement or simply gain more project control – said MGM Mirage, which is CityCenter’s managing partner, is responsible for mismanagement and cost overruns with the project.  Dubai World further contends that statements by the MGM Mirage in the company’s financial filings last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission constitute a breach of the joint-venture pact and has put the project at risk. 

The lawsuit took the MGM Mirage reportedly by surprise, but theirspokespeople responded vehemently yesterday that they are doing everything they can do and are ready, willing, and more than able to meet all financial obligations and debt holder payments. 

Despite the lawsuit, CityCenter still plans to open in stages, starting in October with Vdara, a nongaming condominium and hotel tower, and Aria, CityCenter’s centerpiece 4,004-room hotel-casino, scheduled to open on December 16.  

MGM Mirage continues to accept job applications, having over 90,000 job applications for the CityCenter project and planning to hire 10,000 employees to boost the staganant Las Vegas economy. 

However, MGM Mirage and Dubai World are still seeking the remaining $1.2 billion in financing to finish the project. 

MGM Mirage received from its lenders last week a two-month waiver to avoid violating its loan covenants.   Some financial analysts believe that MGM Mirage might have to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy to restructure their $13.5 billion in debt.

Leave a comment

Filed under Las Vegas, news, Uncategorized