'Flamboyant' pimp busted in a sex-trade investigation, sentenced for evading taxes

Johnny Ray Taylor, who led a lavish lifestyle as a pimp while evading taxes and collecting government disability benefits, was sentenced Wednesday to 25 months in prison.

U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey also ordered Taylor to pay the Internal Revenue Service $117, 559 in restitution, the amount of taxes Taylor owes on more than $393,000 in income he earned as a pimp between 2008 and 2010.

IRS agents seized another $306,000 from Taylor, which they did not include as part of his income those years, from a safety deposit box belonging to him.

Taylor, 35, pleaded guilty in May to a single tax evasion count. He was arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into the cash-rich sex trade in Las Vegas by the Financial Crimes Task Force, a group of law enforcement agencies that includes IRS-Criminal Investigation, Las Vegas police, Henderson police and the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

In court Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Dickinson said Taylor, who once had as many as nine prostitutes working for him, was “rather flamboyant” in his illegal activities.

Taylor spent more than $100,000 renting two homes in Henderson between 2008 and 2010 and another $140,000 buying and leasing three luxury cars, including a couple of Bentleys, Dickinson said in court papers.

At the same time, Dickinson wrote, Taylor was collecting Social Security disability checks while claiming to be indigent and unable to work.

Defense lawyer Steve Stein said Taylor, who grew up in a Memphis ghetto with only a sixth-grade education, was determined to turn his life around after he gets out of prison.

Stein said his client will be pleading guilty to local felony charges of pandering and living off the earnings of a prostitute later this month.

When given a chance to address the judge, Taylor said he was eager to put his life of crime behind him.

“I’m accepting responsibility for my actions,” he said. “I know they were wrong.”

Dorsey said she hoped Taylor was serious in wanting to become a positive member of the community after he gets out of prison.

The judge also sentenced him to three years of supervised release and ordered him to stay away from prostitutes during that time.

Taylor, who is free on his own recognizance, has until Jan. 13 to report to federal prison.

In his plea agreement, Taylor admitted that the government could prove he was earning a living off prostitutes and had taken measures to hide money from the IRS.

Paul Camacho, special agent in charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation, said after Taylor’s sentencing that his case serves as another reminder about the ability of law enforcement agencies to follow the money when pursuing criminals.

“Once again, following the money served to bring down a heinous criminal enterprise,” Camacho said. “It’s just too good of a criminology tool in the hands of those skilled at financial sleuthing. Those in this illegal industry should pay heed to this.”

Contact reporter Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Followhim on Twitter @JGermanRJ.