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Thread: Dude Looks Like a Scammer (and a lady): "Frank Marino's Divas" show at The LINQ closed by Caesars after Marino apparently stole charity money

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Dude Looks Like a Scammer (and a lady): "Frank Marino's Divas" show at The LINQ closed by Caesars after Marino apparently stole charity money

    "Frank Marino's Divas" is a long-running drag show which has existed in Vegas since 1985. It was originally called "An Evening at La Cage". Marino has performed in more than 25,000 shows during that time, which is a record as a headliner.

    Frank starred as Joan Rivers, and the other "girls" would play other well-known female celebrities.





    It was at the now-defunct Riviera for a long time, and was most recently at Caesars-owned "The LINQ".

    Now the show has closed and has no home, and it's all because of an accusation that Marino was stealing merchandise sale money earmarked for charity.

    Marino would announce daily from the stage that a portion of the proceeds of "Divas" merchandise would be donated to the Las Vegas Make-A-Wish foundation, and he encouraged audience members to purchase items such as DVDs and t-shirts. Recently, a report emerged that Make-A-Wish was not actually getting any money from Frank Marino or Divas.

    Shortly after the show abruptly closed without a planned final performance (highly unusual for long-running Vegas shows), Caesars confirmed the closure was due to the charity money issue. Shortly after that, on July 3, Marino admitted that the money intended for charity actually wasn't sent to Make-A-Wish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Marino
    As some are aware, I have historically given a portion of the proceeds from the sales of certain ‘Divas Las Vegas’ merchandise to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, as well as incorporating them into special events like my Celebrity Roast held at the Stratosphere Hotel in which all of the proceeds and donations were given to them personally. I’m saddened to say that due to my own negligence, Make-a-Wish has not received a check from me for some time. I am personally embarrassed and ashamed. I take full responsibility and am sincerely apologetic for this situation. I have confirmed the figure which I would have customarily donated to them from a percentage of my merchandise sales and have offered to substantially increase that many times over. Make-a-Wish is an important charity and my favorite in the world because it lifts the hearts and spirits of children desperately in need of joy, comfort, and compassion. I hope my mistake will not prevent others from donating generously to this organization and I pray that I will be able to work with them for many years to come. Numerous other false allegations have been circulated, they are inaccurate; ‘Divas’ agreed with Caesars to terminate the production which had been performed 7 days a week. I personally want to state that Caesars Entertainment and the ‘Divas Las Vegas’ show has always maintained a very positive and professional working relationship. I also want to go on record and state that the last 8 years of performing at The LINQ Hotel has been nothing less than a wonderful and amazing experience for both myself and my cast. Caesars is a great organization and it was my honor to provide the ‘Divas’ Show at The LINQ for so many years.

    He's telling the truth that Divas mutually agreed to terminate its contract with Caesars, but that doesn't mean much. It simply means that both sides agreed to end their relationship without either party suing the other for breach of contract. In reality, he was kicked out of The LINQ over this matter.

    Unrelated to this, Marino was also unhappy with Caesars and The LINQ for quite some time. He felt they weren't promoting the show enough, and was irritated that he was playing second fiddle to magician Mat Franco, who was signed to perform at The LINQ in 2015. Franco was given Marino's better nighttime slot four days a week, while Marino was moved to 4pm on those days. In addition, the theater itself was renamed "Mat Franco Theater", which insulted Marino. When on stage, Marino would welcome the audience to "The Linq Theater" and would never mention Franco's name.

    Caesars reportedly fired various employees at The LINQ over this matter, prior to completely closing the show.

    However, Caesars considers "this matter closed" and will not be pursuing it any further.

    It is unlikely that the charity was being stiffed "due to negligence" because the failure to donate only benefited Marino (it wasn't embezzled by employees), and Marino repeatedly promoted the charity-related merchandise at his shows every day. It would be hard for Marino to claim that he "forgot" to donate given how he talked about Make-A-Wish daily. He also did not blame any employees under him for forgetting to donate, so it seems likely that Marino discovered at some point that he could make extra money by pretending to sell merchandise for charity, and simply keep the money. Now that he's been caught, blaming his own "negligence" is really his only way out.

    He claims that he will return to the Strip in the fall, but I doubt any large company will sign him. He will probably have to play in some independent shithole property.

    He's the Las Vegas Review Journal article about it: https://www.reviewjournal.com/entert...rity-upheaval/

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Caesars is not yet out of the woods, by the way.

    Now Nevada Gaming is investigating them, to see if they (unwittingly) violated any Gaming regulations regarding this whole mess (presumably not keeping better watch over the money earmarked for charity).

    Mike Lawton, senior research analyst for the Gaming Control Board’s Administration Division, said that agents plan to meet with Caesars Entertainment officials to review what led to “Divas” closing, and whether Caesars violated any gaming regulations. “This is an ongoing investigation,” Lawton said. “We are currently in the process of setting up our meetings with Caesars. Our agents are gathering information over the next week or so.”

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    Nova Scotia's REAL #1 Webcam DJ sonatine's Avatar
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    " I have confirmed the figure which I would have customarily donated to them from a percentage of my merchandise sales and have offered to substantially increase that many times over."

    how is that not </thread> tho


    edit: nm, i thought he had cut a check for that amount + an asshole tax, hes just basically offering an ongoing increase in % while keeping the other money, which is hilarious considering he has no income what with his show being closed.
    "Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness." - Alejandro Jodorowsky

    "America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by the non-dreamers." -- William S. Burroughs

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    Update:

    Marino has settled with Make-A-Wish, but only with the agreement that they don't disclose the amount (LOL).

    He claimed he was giving more than he owed, though.

    https://www.reviewjournal.com/entert...arity-dispute/

    Why the secrecy on the amount?

    I'm guessing it was a fairly large figure, and he was afraid that it would make him look really bad if people saw how much he had pocketed for himself until caught. He's also probably afraid that people will realize that such a large amount indicates that he went many years without sending them a penny.

  5. #5
    You might ask, if he didn't donate to charity then what did he do with the money?

    Frank Marino doles out $4 million on remodel — PHOTOS

    https://www.reviewjournal.com/homes/...emodel-photos/

    He bought a house in Summerlin in Las Vegas in October 2014 for $2 million then spent $4 million more remodeling it.

    How did Frank Marino get busted in the first place?

    Someone at the charity must have informed Caesars that they didn't receive extra money from him.

    Don't promise that you are going to give money to charity if you have no intention of doing so unless you're Donald Trump.


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TheXFactor View Post
    You might ask, if he didn't donate to charity then what did he do with the money?

    Frank Marino doles out $4 million on remodel — PHOTOS

    https://www.reviewjournal.com/homes/...emodel-photos/

    He bought a house in Summerlin in Las Vegas in October 2014 for $2 million then spent $4 million more remodeling it.

    How did Frank Marino get busted in the first place?

    Someone at the charity must have informed Caesars that they didn't receive extra money from him.

    Don't promise that you are going to give money to charity if you have no intention of doing so unless you're Donald Trump.

    “Unique additions include a gift wrapping room”

    So he has a room devoted to giving, but forgot for years to give the money due to charity. Sure.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyde View Post
    I stay to myself and keep out of trouble and/or potentially problematic scenarios

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    BUMP

    Missed this, but back in August, Frank said he was "done for 2018" and might be retooling the show.

    I'm guessing this really means he isn't getting any offers, and is toxic for any casino to touch right now.

    The same article revealed that his payment to Make-A-Wish was for over $100,000, and that he hadn't given them anything in over 5 years.

    Perhaps most egregious, he was also selling VIP seats to his shows for an upgrade fee which was supposed to go to charity, but never did.

    https://www.reviewjournal.com/entert...ne-for-2018-2/

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