The CEO of a Las Vegas limousine company, along with eight connected to the business, was hit with federal racketeering charges connected to drug dealing, prostitution and fraud.
According to the office of U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden, the owner and several workers of CLS Transportation were arrested Thursday, accused of using the business for racketeering activities that, at times, affected customers of the limo service.
Bogden's office said a combined Safe Streets Task Force of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Las Vegas Metro police engaged in a long-term probe of the business.
Members of that task forced carried out a raid of the business on Thursday, Metro said.
In an indictment, it is alleged that CLS owner Charles Horky, 52, spearheaded a range of criminal activities that involved the limo service.
At Horky's encouragement, the indictment said, the business required limo drivers to pay the owner a cut of the money they were receiving for activity that included dealing controlled substances and illegal prostitution.
In one part of the indictment, prosecutors described communications between Horky and a number of his drivers regarding arrangements of prostitution with clients.
In many exchanges, Horky would request a $1,000 price for each client's session.
"Hey, you got a line on whores?" Horky is described, in the indictment, as saying in a taped telephone conversation in February of this year. "I need three."
In addition, the indictment said, Horky, along with other company owners, allegedly defrauded American Express and its cardholders out of about $2.8 million in fraudulent and unauthorized charges.
Managers of the company were also accused of drawing checks on the business' payroll even though they knew the account did not contain sufficient funds.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said the business maintained the criminal activity from 2008 through as late as November of this year.
In addition to the owner, Horky, Bogden's office said the following people were charged in the case:
Kimberly Flores, 42, Las Vegas, manager of CLS
Archie Granata, 69, Reno, financial advisor for CLS
Dawit Moszagi, 47, Las Vegas, limo driver
Clarence Adams, 38, Las Vegas, limo driver
James Reda, 38, Las Vegas, limo driver
Mikhail Maleev, 48, Las Vegas, limo driver
Solomon Zemedhun, 39, Las Vegas, business associate
Olive Toli, 48, Las Vegas, business associate
Zemedhun and Toli were charged for their role in facilitating and aiding in the dealing of drugs.
Several of the people charged in the operation made initial court appearances on Thursday.
Horky pleaded not guilty, and the judge allowed him to remain CEO of CLS, under lawyer supervision.
"They're all not guilty until they plead guilty or they're found guilty," said defense attorney Mace Yampolsky, who represents Solomon Zemedhun.
Zemedhun faces racketeering charges, and was released on bond.
"As part of his job as a driver for CLS they allege that he was providing the controlled substance to other people… my client had no criminal history," Yampolsky told FOX5.
Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Thursday, August 21 2014 1:54 AM EDT2014-08-21 05:54:23 GMT
Las Vegas nonprofit hospital University Medical Center (UMC) on Wednesday afternoon announced it is eliminating a number of services to save money.More >
Las Vegas nonprofit hospital University Medical Center (UMC) on Wednesday afternoon announced it is eliminating a number of services to save money, which will result in the loss of about 285 positions. More >