Why can't Lyle Goodman, a New York kind of guy who hates this friggin' town, put his signature on 13th Street?
The Gold Club Standard
Spend any time around Lyle Goodman, and "the Gold Club thing," as DeMone puts it, will surface.
Goodman took a felony conviction for his role in the now-infamous Atlanta Gold Club, a high-end strip joint the feds prosecuted as a moneymaking operation for New York's infamous Gambino family.
The trial produced salacious headlines.
Then New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing got a couple of free hummers while Goodman's cousin Steve Kaplan allegedly watched.
Indiana Pacers star Reggie Miller accepted the unexpected gift of a dancer for sex when she arrived at his hotel door.
Madonna took a dancer home.
The King of Sweden stopped by for a private dance.
The key figure in the Gold Club case was Kaplan, an alleged "earner" for the Gambinos. According to the prosecution, Goodman worked for Kaplan, first at a strip club in Boca Raton, Fla., then at the Atlanta club. Goodman helped get the Atlanta club off the ground as a manager, then returned to New York, where he handled Gold Club customers' credit card complaints by phone.
The feds had a difficult time making their case, and in the end almost all 17 defendants copped what's termed a "global plea agreement." Goodman wanted to fight the charges, but says he felt pressured to accept the deal out of loyalty to his cousin.
Goodman's father, Ralph, reached by phone in Brooklyn, tells a different story. "Everyone had to be in on the deal or there was no deal for anybody," he says. "Lyle still didn't want to do it, but he was threatened into it. He was told, 'Either you take this deal or we're all gonna go in there and say you did it.'"
Kaplan forfeited the Gold Club and received a 16-month jail sentence. Goodman, like all the defendants but Kaplan, got no jail time. His three years of federal probation ends this fall, but the felony conviction remains on his record: "misprison of felonies" for failing to report credit card fraud.
The Gold Club's defense noted that more than a million people had patronized the club in five years, yet the government produced just 18 instances of fraud, which Goodman attributes to his failure to catch dancers overcharging customers. To prove racketeering and prostitution, the feds trotted in admitted killers fresh from seclusion in the witness protection program. One of the men, John Givens, testified he sliced off a man's ear for the mob.
To this day Goodman remains derisive of the feds' case.
"Yeah, Givens worked for me at the Gold Club," he allows, "and he testified he cut a guy's ear off. But how was I supposed to know what he did with his social time?"
Follow the Money (If You Can)
Born 60-odd years ago in Westchester, N.Y.--located, as he puts it, "out of range of the gunfire"--Pat DeMone now lives in Cherry Hill, where he says he dotes on his grandchildren and tries to lead a quiet life centered on family and his few remaining business interests.
But even his quiet life in Cherry Hill raises the specter of the mob. During the photo shoot for this story, DeMone turned to PW 's photographer and complained that everyone believes he's mobbed up because so many Gambino family members live in Cherry Hill.
PW's Taste of Philly 2014
Election Day 2014: Tues., Nov. 4