weather icon Mostly Cloudy
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Mobbed Up: The Fight for Las Vegas

It was an unforgettable era in the fight against organized crime in Las Vegas. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Mafia crime families wielded hidden control over more than a third of the Strip’s casinos, and federal and state agents were waking up to the enormous task of pushing them out.

Season Two of “Mobbed Up: The Fight for Las Vegas,” an eight-part true-crime series, examines the Aladdin Hotel's pivotal role, and how entertainment giants Wayne Newton and Johnny Carson battled to buy the resort after the state banned its owners.

The series also looks at the mysterious disappearance of Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, whose mob-connected union pension fund loaned millions of dollars to Strip casinos and opened doors for organized crime.

You’ll get an inside look at an unprecedented war between federal prosecutors pursuing the mob and Nevada’s two federal judges, who questioned their tactics. And you’ll see how the FBI struck a deal with a notorious brothel baron to accuse one of those judges, Harry Claiborne, of taking bribes, and how it led to the judge’s impeachment by Congress.

Jeff German, host of “Mobbed Up,” with Planet Hollywood (formerly the Aladdin) on the Strip in Las Vegas, Wednesday, June 2, 2021. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Tony Spilotro and the mystery of Lake Mead’s body in a barrel

Two experts at Las Vegas’ Mob Museum hypothesize that the ruthless enforcer killed one of three men with mob ties who disappeared decades ago without a trace.

Aladdin’s Curse

It was the final chapter of the troubled Las Vegas Strip resort controlled by the mob two decades earlier, then rescued by a big-name entertainer only to fall into ruin.

A Judge Falls From Grace

Harry Claiborne — the Nevada judge who stood up to prosecutors fighting the mob — was charged with bribery and filing false tax returns, and was the first federal judge to be impeached by the House.

Wayne Newton’s ‘Nightmare’

Newton wound up suing NBC for libel, and even tied his nemesis, Johnny Carson, into what became a decade-long litigation after a news report by Brian Ross.

Threats, Bombs and Stings

Nevada Governor Robert List was embarking on one of the most critical tasks in the history of the state — breaking the mob’s grip on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.

Wayne Newton vs. Johnny Carson

Wayne Newton and Johnny Carson, two of the biggest stars in the entertainment world, both set their sights on buying the Aladdin after regulators stripped the resort’s owners of their gaming licenses.

‘Close the Place Down’

State gaming control agents were on the Las Vegas Strip preparing to take unprecedented enforcement action to shut down the casino of the mob-ridden Aladdin Hotel.

Jimmy Hoffa’s role in developing Las Vegas

Jimmy Hoffa and his friends in the mob played a big role in developing Las Vegas through their control over the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund, and the millions of dollars in loans it extended to casinos.