Saturday, July 26, 2008

Orlando-area strip-club owners now a family divided


Here's some bullshit goin' on in FL about 2 brothers in the strip club biz fightin' over "the empire."

Read about it (courtesy of below:


Orlando-area strip-club owners now a family divided

Orlando- Brothers Jim and Charlie Veigle worked together for 25 years building Rachel's, a chain of three high-class strip clubs in Florida.

They fought off anti-porn activists, government regulators, even prosecutors who arrested Jim on racketeering charges and tried to close the clubs.

Through it all, they stood side by side and survived.

Not anymore. Today, they are enemies. They have sued each other at least six times in the past two years, each accusing the other of cheating on deal after deal.

It's not clear how much money is at stake. Most of the court records are sealed, but details should come flooding out this week. Their trial reconvenes today in Orlando. It promises to be a public airing of a very bitter dispute. The brothers are fighting over real estate, auto leases, a garbage-hauling company, even cemetery plots, where, 20 years ago, they had wanted to be buried near each other.

"It's a personal, family matter. It's hurtful," said Jim, 63. "I don't want to talk about it."

Charlie, always the brother with the lower profile, would not discuss the falling-out.

"They used to be very, very, very, very close," said Mike Pinter, former owner of Club Juana, a legendary strip club that was a half-mile from Rachel's North in Casselberry, the first of the three Rachel's clubs opened by the Veigles. "I feel bad for them. They're both nice guys."

At the height of their popularity and notoriety, the Rachel's clubs had a reputation for high-class adult entertainment. They had gorgeous dancers and a high-roller clientele that included businessmen, conventioneers and celebrities, such as Orlando Magic forward Horace Grant. Limousines dropped off and picked up patrons.

In recent years, the brothers' relationship frayed, court documents show.

"In or about 2006, I began to notice Jim Veigle was mismanaging the funds coming into some of our jointly owned corporations and mishandling money from our jointly owned rental properties," according to an affidavit filed by Charlie, 61, of Lake Mary.

Charlie asked for financial records but didn't get what he wanted, so he hired a lawyer to untangle their businesses, according to his affidavit.

Then began the string of lawsuits.

In April 2007, Charlie sued Jim. Within a month, Jim sued Charlie -- twice. He has since filed three more suits against Charlie, two of them last month.

Jim accuses Charlie of withholding profits from business deals, failing to kick in his share of startup costs and shirking family business obligations.

The brothers are not fighting over who owns the three Rachel's clubs. Jim now owns and runs the one in Casselberry; he bought Charlie's share in 2006. The brothers sold the other two Rachel's, one in south Orange County and the other in Palm Beach, to outsiders about that same time.

Charlie has opened a new club -- Lions Den Cabaret & Steakhouse -- in Pompano Beach, and that's where he spends much of his time. It's not clear how well the Rachel's clubs are doing now. But in 2000, when the vice squad raided the Casselberry and south Orange clubs and arrested three dozen employees on drug, money-laundering and sex charges, they were extraordinarily profitable.

Jim, who was charged with racketeering, made $224,000 a month as his share from all three clubs, according to court records. Prosecutors later dropped the charge.

His brother, who was never arrested, likely will be one of the first witnesses at this week's trial.

Last week, Jim was in court -- Charlie was not -- in a dispute over taking a sworn statement from their older brother, Tom Veigle, who lives in Georgia. Jim wanted it done; Charlie did not. Circuit Judge Frederick Lauten said yes to the deposition.

He is the judge who must unravel it all. There will be no jury.


Jim and Charlie Veigle, brothers and longtime business partners, are engaged in a bitter fight over property and money. A sampling:

*Jim accuses Charlie of cheating him of $410,000 in profits from the sale of Rachel's in West Palm Beach in 2006, which made a $4.6 million profit.

*Jim accuses Charlie of failing to pay his share of the startup costs and equipment leases at a Katrina debris-removal company they formed.

*Charlie accuses Jim of falsely claiming he owns two-thirds -- when it's really one-half -- of 436 Investments Inc., a family enterprise.

*Jim accuses Charlie of threatening to sell for a profit 16 family-burial plots at a Winter Park cemetery. The brothers bought the plots in 1987 so that they and other family members could be buried together.


Once again, Damn...

It's a shame when $$$ breaks up a family.

I hope this doesn't end up like The Mitchell Brothers in San Fran...

1 comment:

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