Las Vegas Sun

April 19, 2014

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Clerical error blamed in delay of Treasures case

A clerical error was blamed Monday morning for the delay of the prostitution trial of a Las Vegas exotic dancer that could cost a local strip club its city tavern license.

The trial, which the city attorney's office had tried to reschedule for Monday, was moved back to its original date, Aug. 10, after Municipal Judge Abbi Silver admonished Deputy City Attorney Michael Yohay for not submitting the necessary paperwork.

The mistake could be a reprieve for Ari and Hassan Davari, who own the Las Vegas strip club Treasures, a $30 million complex at 2801 Westwood Drive near Sahara Avenue, where four dancers were arrested in October on charges of soliciting prostitution at the club and for violating of the city's erotic dance code.

The Davaris, who have not been charged with a crime, have told the Las Vegas City Council that if any of the strippers is found guilty, the club would forfeit its license. The brothers are scheduled to appear before the council on Wednesday.

Yohay said he and Las Vegas defense attorney Ross Goodman, who is representing Treasures stripper Cristina Esteras, had agreed to argue the case this week. But when Yohay appeared before Silver Monday, Silver said the court had not received the proper paperwork.

Neither Goodman nor Esteras appeared in court Monday. Goodman participated via conference call from his Las Vegas office.

He and Yohay did not return repeated phone calls Monday.

Four dancers at Treasures, including Esteras, were arrested in September and October and charged with solicitation for prostitution and violation of the city's erotic dance codes.

The trial of a second Treasures dancer, Barbara Lewis, was scheduled to begin this afternoon.

Goodman is representing three of the four women facing prostitution charges, including Esteras and Lewis.

Although the City Council is set to review the club's license Wednesday, the decision will likely be postponed in light of a lawsuit filed against the brothers in Texas alleging irregular banking practices, according to city Finance Director Mark Vincent. The decision on whether to sanction Treasures will be made by four council members. Goodman's father, Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman, and Councilman Michael Mack have abstained from the decision to hear the Davaris' case. Mack is on the Treasures payroll as a publicist.

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