Ex-Las Vegas illusionist deposits nearly $1M for restitution

Updated June 6, 2017 - 5:26 pm

Former Strip illusionist Jan Rouven, who is awaiting sentencing on child pornography charges, has deposited $975,300 with the court following a federal judge’s order that the assets be reserved for victims’ restitution, fines and other penalty fees the 39-year-old magician is expected to owe for his crimes.

Federal prosecutors requested a court order to hold the assets after learning of the $1.24 million sale of the sprawling, 7-bedroom Centennial Hills house Rouven shared with his manager-husband, Frank Dietmar Alfter. The sale closed late last month, and the title company deposited the proceeds with the court Monday.

Initially, U.S. Magistrate Judge Carl Hoffman ordered the deposit of roughly $80,000 in sale proceeds, but federal prosecutors requested additional assets be set aside in case more of the 92 identifiable victims submit claims ahead of Rouven’s June 30 sentencing.

Rouven, a German citizen and former star of Tropicana’s “The New Illusions” show, pleaded guilty last fall to possession, receipt and distribution of child pornography.

The three counts subject Rouven to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, but he could be sentenced to more than 30 years in federal prison.

Rouven agreed to pay $5,000 in restitution per victim as part of the plea deal his defense attorney negotiated with federal prosecutors.

If all of the 92 victims submit restitution claims, he would owe $460,000. The $975,300 figure was reached by combining that amount with $500,000 in statutory fines the government intends to seek at sentencing and an additional $15,300 in special assessments that were part of the plea agreement.

Hoffman agreed with federal prosecutors who, in seeking the court order, signaled they want to prevent Rouven from transferring or flushing away assets to avoid paying restitution.

“The court emphasizes that the purpose of this order is to temporarily maintain the status quo and to prevent the dissipation of assets that Defendant has agreed to pay by way of plea agreement for the relatively short period of time from now until sentencing,” Hoffman wrote in his Thursday ruling.

Meanwhile, attorneys for Rouven’s husband have submitted legal filings arguing that he is entitled to the sale proceeds deposited with the court.

Alfter was not charged in the case, but he was described as an “unindicted co-conspirator” after federal agents searched the couple’s Donald Nelson Avenue home and seized numerous devices that contained over 9,000 pornography videos featuring children, adults and animals.

An evidentiary hearing on Alfter’s rights to the sale proceeds is scheduled for July 6.

Contact Jenny Wilson at jenwilson@reviewjournal.com or 702-384-8710. Follow @jennydwilson on Twitter.

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