Miami Herald 5/16/2013: South Beach club operator sentenced to 12 years for “bar girls” racket at Russian-style lounges

The sentencing in the “bar girls” scandal that involved several residents of Aventura and Sunny Isles Beach, including former candidate for commissioner of SIB, Isaac Feldman, has been decided.  The Miami Herald article on the subject reads in part:

Albert Takhalov was convicted in December along with two other businessmen of fleecing hundreds of thousands of dollars from dozens of male patrons by racking up bogus bills for champagne, vodka and caviar on their credit cards at seven private Miami Beach clubs.

Takhalov, 31, cried as he apologized to U.S. District Judge Robert Scola, saying he made a “great mistake” but “had no intention of breaking the law.” Other tearful family members asked for leniency, to no avail.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Thakur said Takhalov deserved to go to prison for at least 11 years, pointing out that he played a key role at five of the illicit clubs (VIP, Stars, Tangia, Nowhere Bar and Moreno) in South Beach throughout the duration of the racket from 2010-11.

Also sentenced Thursday: Isaac Feldman, 52, a high-profile Sunny Isles Beach real estate broker who invested in the Stars and VIP lounges. His attorney, Myles Malman, sought to portray his client as one of Simchuk’s investors who had no role in any club operations.

But the judge gave Feldman more than eight years in prison, citing his perjury on the witness stand at trial. His punishment exceeded the federal sentencing guidelines for his fraud offense.

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