WEST PALM BEACH - The former owner of a West Palm Beach nightclub was indicted last week on federal charges alleging that among other crimes, he conspired with others to run an illegal sports gambling business, organized prostitution activities and evaded paying taxes.
Dion De Cesare, the one-time owner of the Renegades restaurant and nightclub, also is accused of money laundering, according to an 18-count indictment announced Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami. If convicted, De Cesare faces up to 50 years in prison.
The indictment alleges that from about April 2008 through November of this year, De Cesare and his front company, HERE LLC, used two other West Palm Beach-area nightclubs to provide prostitution to customers.
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Federal prosecutors said that as owner of Renegades from 2011 to 2017, De Cesare and a business partner failed to pay personal and payroll taxes, resulting in a substantial tax debt. The indictment did not specify the amount.
The indictment also alleges that from May 2015 through about September 2021, De Cesare, 52, of West Palm Beach conspired with others to operate a sports gambling business through dldsportsbook.com, a website based in Costa Rica.
The indictment names Mark Paolantonio, 62, Aundrey Aarons, 41, and Kelly Lizza, 41, all of West Palm Beach, and Josh Peasley, 62, of Huntington Beach, Calif., as co-conspirators in the gambling ring.
De Cesare reportedly conspired to launder his gambling proceeds by having gamblers who owed him money pay through third-party entities and individuals. Nine West Palm Beach properties and one vehicle are subject to criminal forfeiture, according to the indictment.
During a hearing Tuesday before Magistrate Judge Ryon M. McCabe, De Cesare requested additional time to hire a private attorney. His next hearing was set for Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenberg.
Julius Whigham II is a criminal justice and public safety reporter for The Palm Beach Post. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @JuliusWhigham. Help support our work: Subscribe today.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Former West Palm club owner indicted on gambling, tax evasion charges