Las Vegas Sun

July 26, 2014

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PURE Investigation

Patrons step up to the bar and fill the dance floor at Pure in Caesars Palace.

Photo by Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Patrons step up to the bar and fill the dance floor at Pure in Caesars Palace.

The evening that the Internal Revenue Service raided Pure nightclub at Caesars Palace was the first time in a while that someone entered without tipping the doorman.

At issue, however, was not the longstanding tradition of “tipping” doormen, hosts and cocktail servers, but what happened to that money at the end of the night in what federal agents have referred to as a “currency distribution scheme.”

According to employees, the so-called tips, solicited up front for special services, were pooled and then distributed up the management food chain, and the income, presumably, was not reported to the IRS. Insiders say tens of thousands of dollars in “entry fees” and other tips can be split among club employees most nights.

On Feb. 20, the IRS executed search warrants on Pure nightclub, the corporate headquarters of Pure Management Group and the personal residence of managing partner Steve Davidovici. The IRS also visited LAX at Luxor and interviewed employees. Federal agents reportedly collected documents, credit card receipts, computers, personal planners, bank statements and other financial records.

Not since the 1980s, when the mob still wielded influence on the Strip, had the IRS raided a casino property.

Possible criminal violations, according to the search warrants, include tax evasion, filing false individual tax returns and conspiracy to defraud the government of taxes. Pure, a 36,000-square-foot establishment that can accommodate more than 1,500 people, claims to be the nation’s top revenue-producing nightclub.

— Michael Mishak and intern Michael Lyle

Archive highlights

Records suggest club kingpin has violent side

Sun, Mar 16, 2008

If Steve Davidovici is trying to find out who got angry enough to call the IRS on his Las Vegas nightclub operation, he will be making a long list. The ...

Clubs’ cash flow probed at top

Sat, Mar 1, 2008

Internal Revenue Service agents have executed search warrants at the home of a top Strip nightclub executive as part of a criminal investigation into what they say were cash kickback ...

Clubs’ cash flow suspect

Thu, Feb 28, 2008

The burgeoning nightclub scene has brought a new kind of money to Las Vegas — and an old kind of trouble. The scene is awash in cash to an extent ...

All stories

Pure at Caesars Palace closes after 9 years for makeover, reopening in 2015

Tue, May 20, 2014

Hundreds of VIPs and celebrities and thousands of revelers have celebrated wild experiences at Pure since 2004 as it paved the way for the mega-club invasion. I was there for ...

Strip Scribbles: Drai’s at Cromwell nears completion; Pure at Caesars Palace closes for major facelift

Wed, May 14, 2014

Construction crews at the Cromwell have given the go-ahead for nightlife czar Victor Drai to set the final timetable for the opening of his $100 million rooftop, center Strip Drai’s ...

Photos: Porn star Jesse Jane hosts 2014 AVN Awards after-party at Pure

Mon, Jan 20, 2014

Pint-sized blonde bombshell and adult-entertainment star Jesse Jane, in a sexy LBD, had one busy visit in Las Vegas that ended with hosting the official 2014 AVN Awards after-party Saturday ...

2013 New Year’s Eve photos: Ne-Yo rings in 2014 at Pure in Caesars

Thu, Jan 2, 2014

The always-stylish Ne-Yo, birth name Shaffer Chimere Smith, didn’t disappoint in an all-black ensemble that included a fedora and a tuxedo jacket. The hits of Ne-Yo, who had a glass ...

Photos: The Weeknd makes his Las Vegas debut at Pure, also performs at Ling Ling Club

Sun, Nov 3, 2013

After settling into a VIP booth on the main stage at Pure, the 23-year-old took center stage as it neared 1:30 a.m., introduced himself and addressed the crowd: “I go ...

Ryan Lochte, sans Speedo or Halloween costume, parties at Pure, dines at Andiamo

Wed, Oct 30, 2013

On Tuesday night, Olympic champion Ryan Lochte, dressed head to toe in black (sadly, no Speedo or Halloween costume … unless he was dressed as, well, Ryan Lochte), partied at ...

2013 Miss USA photos: The D Hotel, Chinese Laundry at Fashion Show and Pure

Mon, Jun 10, 2013

It was a jam-packed weekend for the 51 contestants in the 2013 Miss USA Pageant in Las Vegas that included a trek to Downtown Las Vegas ...

2013MDW photos: Pharrell Williams gets lucky at Pure in Caesars Palace

Wed, May 29, 2013

Grammy Award winner, singer-songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams hosted and performed at Pure in Caesars Palace on Saturday night. The ...

Photos: By golly! It’s Olly Murs at Pure; hearts are aflutter and skip a beat

Sun, May 12, 2013

British pop sensation Olly Murs made his Las Vegas debut hosting and performing at Pure in Caesars Palace on Saturday night. Arriving to the Angel ...

Photos: Frankie J celebrates Cinco de Mayo at Pure in Caesars Palace

Mon, May 6, 2013

Just before 2 a.m., resident DJ Gusto got on the mic to introduce Frankie J, and he launched into his mini-concert that included “Suga Suga” and ...

Videos

21st at LAX
21st at LAX
Parents share the unexpected experience of their daughter’s 21st birthday at PURE Management’s LAX nightclub.

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