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Colacurcio Associates Scheduled for Plea Hearing

Three key members of Frank Colacurcio Sr.’s strip-club operation appear poised to enter pleas to felony charges in exchange for an agreement that would permanently close the four clubs.

The three men — club co-owners Steve Fueston, David Ebert and Leroy Christiansen — are scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle Wednesday afternoon for a plea hearing.

Three sources, all with direct knowledge of the case, told The Times last week that a plea agreement was in the works between the government and Fueston, David and Christiansen that could lead to closure of the four clubs. If it happens, it would mean a victory for federal and local law-enforcement officials who for years have been trying to close down Frank Colacurcio Sr.’s operations, long alleged to be fronts for prostitution and money laundering.

Under the proposed plea deal, Fueston, Ebert and Christiansen would avoid prison time but be required to pay hefty fines, possibly in the millions, the sources told The Times. They also would also be ordered never to operate strip clubs in Washington again.

The sources said there is no deal for the three defendants to testify against the 92-year-old Frank Colacurcio Sr. and his son, Frank Jr., 48, who are not part of the deal.

The Colacurcios and their associates are charged with multiple counts of racketeering and conspiracy to launder money and promote prostitution, which federal agents and police say has been a mainstay of the clubs’ business for years. They are scheduled to be tried in January.

Last year, a sixth defendant, Gil Conte, 76, a longtime Colacurcio business associate, pleaded guilty to a racketeering-related conspiracy charge. He received no jail time and was required to give up his interest in Sugar’s, a strip club in Shoreline.

In addition to Sugar’s, the group operates Rick’s in Lake City, Honey’s in Everett and Fox’s in Parkland, Pierce County.

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