Las Vegas Sun

August 25, 2019

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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

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Sun, Mar 16, 2008

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Wed, Jun 27, 2012

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Tue, Mar 27, 2012

Two former associates at Pure Nightclub have pleaded guilty to federal tax charges, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

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Thu, Mar 24, 2011

A second former host who worked at Caesars Palace’s Pure nightclub has pleaded guilty to tax crimes stemming from a 2008 IRS raid at the nightclub for its tipping and ...

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Thu, Sep 30, 2010

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Thu, May 27, 2010

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