Club employee pleads guilty to concealing tips


A former Pure nightclub employee pleaded guilty Thursday to hiding $153,000 in tips from the Internal Revenue Service on his 2006 tax return.

Kelly Doll, 31, became the fifth former Pure employee convicted in the long-running IRS investigation into the tip-pooling practices at the Caesars Palace nightclub.

Doll, a former VIP host at Pure, entered a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Miranda Du to one count of filing a false tax return.

In all, prosecutors said, Doll admitted concealing $220,000 in tips from the IRS between 2005 and 2006.

Du set a Sept. 24 sentencing for Doll, who is free on his own recognizance.

As part of his plea agreement, Doll agreed to cooperate with the IRS and pay back all of his back taxes from 2005 to 2010.

Joseph Rillotta, a trial attorney with the Justice Department's Tax Division in Washington, D.C., would not say afterward whether the investigation is continuing.

In March, former Pure co-owner Steve Davidovici, a longtime player on the lucrative Strip nightclub scene, pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return.

Davidovici, 48, admitted that he failed to report $141,306 in tip income on his 2006 return. He is to be sentenced Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson

Mikel Hasen, 47, the former head doorman at Pure, also pleaded guilty in March to filing a false 2006 tax return.

Hasen, who acknowledged owing the government between $80,000 and $200,000, also is to be sentenced before Dawson on Wednesday.

Former Pure VIP hosts Richard Chu and Ali Olyaie pleaded guilty in the investigation last year to filing false 2006 tax returns. Chu was placed on three years' probation last month, and Olyaie is waiting to be sentenced.

Agents with IRS-Criminal Investigation in Las Vegas executed search warrants on the Strip in February 2008 looking for evidence of a "currency distribution scheme" among nightclub executives and employees that hid income from the government.

In his plea agreement, Doll acknowledged that tips made up the bulk of his income at Pure. Hosts, doormen and executives put the tips into a pool every night and then distributed them on a weekly basis, the agreement said.

The IRS investigation prompted state gaming regulators to conduct an industrywide review to tighten up the business dealings between casinos and their nightclub partners.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135.