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Judge orders illusionist in child porn case to forfeit $80K from home sale

Updated May 26, 2017 - 5:53 pm

A federal judge has ordered Jan Rouven, the former Strip illusionist awaiting sentencing on child pornography charges, to turn over to the court a portion of the proceeds from the sale of his $1.9 million Centennial Hills house.

The 39-year-old German magician starred in the “The New Illusions,” a well-known show at the Tropicana, until federal agents searched his home last year and found over 9,000 child porn videos on various devices.

Rouven initially took the case to trial but reached a plea deal with the government after two days of testimony. His sentencing is tentatively scheduled for the end of June.

Prosecutors asked the court to preserve proceeds from the sale of the 9,079-square-foot house in order to prevent Rouven from transferring assets to his family and friends to avoid paying out restitution to victims. They requested the court order in a motion filed last week.(Severiano Galvan/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“The court concludes that an order restraining the disbursement of $80,300 … from the proceeds of the sale of the subject property is sufficient, based on the information currently known, to prevent the frustration of collection of the anticipated restitution order,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Carl Hoffman wrote in a Thursday ruling.

Restitution is formally determined at sentencing, but legal filings indicate that the $80,000 figure represents the amount Rouven is likely to owe in direct restitution and other forms of victim compensation.

“The escrow/title company handling the sale of the subject property shall deposit $80,300 from the proceeds of the sale of the subject property with the Clerk of Court for the United States District Court for the District of Nevada,” Hoffman wrote in his order.

Rouven and his manager-husband, Frank Dietmar Alfter, purchased the sprawling, seven-bedroom property at 7080 Donald Nelson Ave. for $1.2 million in 2012. It is now appraised at over $1.9 million, according to Clark County property records. The price for which they sold the home has not been disclosed in court filings.

Alfter never was charged in the case, but he has been described by prosecutors as an “unindicted co-conspirator.” Both men are citizens of Germany.

Rouven — who was indicted under his given name, Jan Rouven Fuechtener — pleaded guilty in the fall to one count of possession of child pornography, one count of receipt of child pornography, and one count of distribution of child pornography. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, but could be subject to more than 30 years in prison.

Before Rouven agreed to a plea deal, his charges — which included an additional count of advertising child pornography — exposed him to upward of 80 years behind bars.

Rouven’s new defense attorney, Karen Connelly, said during a court hearing Friday that the title company that handled the sale of the house “is acting as if this court has already ordered all the funds to be frozen.” She said the title company had refused to disburse any of the proceeds from the sale.

Connelly also said during the hearing that Rouven “may move to withdraw the plea.” That sort of motion, if successful, could restart the process and trigger another trial — voiding the plea deal his previous defense lawyer, Jess Marchese, reached with prosecutors. As of Friday afternoon, Rouven’s new defense team had yet to submit any legal filings requesting a withdrawal of his guilty plea.

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

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