Jan 4, 2018
Special thanks to Gangland Wire podcast cohosts Gary Jenkins and Aaron Gnirk for allowing me to re-post this episode from their show. I was interviewed on the Gangland Wire podcast in October 2017, and it was such a fun and crazy episode I thought I would share it with you here.
The main thing you need to know about this case is that before Harvey Weinstein, there was Frank Antico and Boobgate. This true crime FBI Philadelphia strip club investigation featured extortion, sex, money, and more and a case review is certainly timely and relevant. Some of Frank Antico’s antics will shock you. One important disclaimer: This was not my case, but I know it well because it inspired me to write my FBI crime thriller, Pay To Play.
Frank Antico, an official in the Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses & Inspections, was sentenced to 63 months in prison, as well as a $10,000 fine, for a 13-year-reign of racketeering, extortion, and fraud. He was convicted of racketeering for extorting money from topless bars, a check-cashing agency, a nightclub, houses of prostitution and a private businesswoman between 1983 and 1995. The jury also convicted him of defrauding city residents of his loyal services by setting up his mistress as a private consultant who could get permits and zoning quickly for clients that he sent to her. The mistress made more than $700,000 over 10 years and, in return, the L&I official didn’t have to pay her about $30,000 in child support for their two sons. Four ex-lovers of the L&I official who testified for the prosecution and other witnesses portrayed him as an oversexed, middle-aged, city bureaucrat who haunted topless bars and took anything owners gave him, including free sex, even after he became L&I’s chief inspector in the 1990s. Evidence showed that out on the town, he was treated by club owners to free booze, food, $100 bills, couch dances, a pig roast, a picnic for his pals, strippers for a deputy mayor, limo rides and Phillies tickets. In return, club operators could operate outside the law.
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