LAS VEGAS (CN) – Taxi and limo companies in Las Vegas extorted more than $40 million in kickbacks from strip clubs last year, a tourist claims in a federal lawsuit aimed at the long-standing practice of clubs paying drivers to bring in customers. A similar lawsuit was filed in Clark County Court last October.
Theodore Trapp, a California resident, claims that some clubs pay a driver as much as $100 per person – as much as $100,000 a week — to bring people to their club. Drivers refuse to take customers to a club that does not provide a kickback, the lawsuit states.
“The illegal scheme is negatively impacting the City of Las Vegas and the State of Nevada,” the new lawsuit states. “Perhaps most prevalent is the impact on women and families, who have the greatest difficulty obtaining the services of taxi cabs in Las Vegas since taxi cab drivers have a much greater incentive to pick up single men or groups of men.”
He claims the long list of defendant night clubs recoup the money spent on kickbacks by watering liquor, selling cheap booze as brand name, padding customers’ bills, and “threats of actual physical harm” to customers.
Trapp claims his own taxi driver discouraged him from going to his “chosen destination,” and “misled [him] into believe that his chosen destination was somehow undesirable,” telling him, “‘There are better clubs’ … ‘The girls are better at other clubs’ … ‘Play it Again Sam is kinda sketchy’ … and ‘I’ll take you to a better club.'”
Defendants include the Badda Bing Men’s Club, the Can Can Room, Club Paradise, Déjà Vu Showgirls, The Palomino Club, Sapphire, Spearmint Rhino, Treasures, Little Darlings, Olympic Gardens and Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club.
More than two dozen cab and limo companies were also listed as defendants, including Western Cab, Nevada Checker Cab, Nevada Yellow Cab, Lucky Cab and Nellis Cab.
Trapp is represented by James Smyth with Kummer and Kaempfer.