Massage parlor owner convicted on 96 federal charges

Posted: Friday, February 15, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A federal jury has found a Fairbanks massage parlor owner Bruno Bordonici guilty of 96 felony counts in a verdict that took nearly an hour just to read aloud.

Bordonici, who was acquitted on eight other counts, sat silent during the reading of the verdict, which could amount to a life sentence for the 62-year-old. The jury's decision, reached Thursday after noon after a day and a half of deliberation, came after a trial of more than two weeks.

Most of the charges related to allegations that Bordonici used the parlor as a front for cocaine sales and prostitution from 1998 to 2000. Testimony came from 37 witnesses, ranging from officers and expert witnesses to customers and prostitutes.

Bordonici was convicted of 48 counts of using an interstate facility in aid of a racketeering enterprise; 22 counts of distributing a controlled substance; 19 counts of money laundering; three counts of possession of stolen mail; two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and one count each of extortion and conspiracy. He was acquitted on five counts of money laundering, two counts of extortion and one count of perjury.

Trial testimony ranged from lurid details of life at the parlor to dry descriptions of Bordonici's financial transactions.

Former prostitutes testified that Bordonici was supposed to give them half of the $250 an hour charged at the parlor. But they say he deducted money from their pay for condoms, showers, clean linen, even for customers who paid by credit card or used his on-site ATM.

''Any way that he could get into our money, so we didn't get what we were supposed to, he did,'' said ex-prostitute Jean Healy.

Testimony from some customers contained startling descriptions of crack-fueled visits that stretched for hours or days and cost thousands of dollars.

''Once I started smoking the crack cocaine I wouldn't want to stop, and I generally spent more than $1,000,'' said former customer Roy Sisler. According to the prosecution, Sisler alone spent more than $100,000 on drugs and prostitutes.

IRS agent Lynne Goldbach estimated that Bordonici made $375,000 over more than three years of illegal activities at the parlor.

Defender Robert Noreen called only five witnesses, focusing on trying to discredit some of the prosecution witnesses.

Of the eight counts on which Bordonici was acquitted, two charged him with threatening customers he said owed him money, five charged him with using proceeds from the parlor to make a loan and make real estate payments, and one charged him with lying about his assets in order to obtain a court-appointed attorney.

His sentencing has not yet been set.

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