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Owner of Las Vegas limo service indicted on racketeering charges

December 28, 2012|By John M. Glionna

LAS VEGAS — Here’s a sobering lesson: What happens in Vegas sometimes ends up in a grand jury indictment.

Federal authorities announced the arrest of nine people, including the owner and employees of a prominent limousine service here after their indictment on a host of federal racketeering charges.

Charles Horkey, 52, owner of CLS Transportation, and his employees were indicted on charges involving distribution of controlled substances, facilitating illegal prostitution and credit card and bank fraud, authorities said.

“Persons who use legitimate businesses to shield their criminal activities will get the attention of law enforcement,” U.S. Atty. Daniel G. Bogden said in a news release. “In addition to promoting prostitution and selling drugs, these defendants are accused of defrauding customers, many of whom were undoubtedly tourists to Las Vegas. The FBI and U.S. attorney’s office, along with our federal and state law enforcement partners, will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute persons who participate in such criminal enterprises.”

The indictment also named Kimberly Flores, 42, the manager of CLS; Archie Granata, 69, a financial advisor for CLS; and Dawit Moszagi, 47, Clarence Adams, 38, James Reda, 38, Mikhail Maleev, 48, limousine drivers for CLS. Also named were Solomon Zemedhun, 39, and Olive Toli, 48, associates of the enterprise who are alleged to have supplied and aided in the distribution of controlled substances.

The indictment includes tape-recorded conversations and texts between Horky and his drivers, whom the owner is accused of using to help set up people he knew with prostitutes. In one conversation on Feb. 2, Horky discussed securing a prostitute for a friend.

“Hey, you got a line on whores?” Horky asked one driver, according to one tape.

“I do,” the chauffeur responded.

“I need three,” Horky said as he continued to explain that he wanted them for a lawyer friend in town from Los Angeles. “I told him a thousand a girl. Is that good enough?”

The arrests “disrupted a major racketeering enterprise that has negatively impacted the citizens, safety and image of Las Vegas,” Kevin Favreau, special agent in charge of the FBI for Nevada, said in the release.

According to the indictment, between September 2008 and November 2012, the owner and employees at CLS Transportation conducted and facilitated a broad range of criminal activities.

CLS customers often paid for services with credit cards. The defendants are accused of devising and executing a scheme to defraud American Express and American Express cardholders of more than $2.8 million through fraudulent and unauthorized charges.

On its website, the 24-hour chauffeur service, founded in 1994, offers such cars as a luxury Mercedes, a Rolls Royce Ghost and a Lexis 460 H.

“Your everyday ride might be a Civic, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t splurge on style every now and again,” the website says. “In fact, there are a few occasions in everyone’s life that require a little bit of glamour. So dry clean your best cocktail dress or Hugo Boss Suit and call us up if you’re planning any of the following limo-worthy occasions.”

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