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Dope of the Week Nom: Intelius co-founder in more hot water in strip-club probe; Taken Into Custody

Washington – from AP- The co-founder of Bellevue-based Intelius, charged with lying to a grand jury about strip-club sex acts, was taken back into federal custody Thursday — allegedly for contacting a witness who works at the club and planning to meet her in Las Vegas.

John Kenneth Arnold is a co-founder and executive vice president at Intelius, a people search and background-check company that sells a smart-phone application aimed at weeding out sleazy dates.

He was first arrested last week after being indicted on a charge that he lied to a grand jury when testifying he had never engaged in sex acts with dancers at Rick’s strip club in Seattle. His testimony was part of a racketeering investigation of Seattle strip-club boss Frank Colacurcio Sr.

Arnold was released on the conditions that he surrender his passport and have no contact with potential witnesses. But agents arrested him again Thursday after learning that he asked an intermediary to deliver a letter to the strip-club employee.

According to excerpts read in court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Greenberg, Arnold wrote: “I don’t think it’s wise for us to communicate through normal channels. I do have some things that are helpful and important to you. I’m being purposely vague.”

“He twice, in writing, stated, ‘I hope we can catch up soon,’ and he went so far as to fashion travel plans for himself for this weekend which he knew dovetailed with the pre-existing travel plans of this witness,” Greenberg told the judge. “The defendant has proven detention to be necessary.”

Arnold’s attorney, Larry Finegold, insisted that while the letter may have been improper, there was nothing threatening or intimidating about it. Finegold insisted his client has become good friends with the strip-club employee and, for example, helped her write her résumé.

Greenberg declined to identify the witness. It was not immediately clear whether she is a dancer.

Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida ordered Arnold detained pending a hearing set for Monday. Arnold’s wife, a former prosecutor in King County, declined to comment.


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