Thanks for your question. First, let me request that if any of the
following is unclear or if you require any further research please
dont hesitate to ask me for a clarification.
You requested information about a lawsuit involving the Aladdin Hotel,
Johnny Carson, Wayne Newton etc. You requested the details as well as
the names of any lawyers that were involved in this. I have managed
to find the relevant information for you the facts of the case,
however, are a bit different. Johnny Carson was never involved
directly in the lawsuits, although NBC was and Wayne Newton was, as
well. Following is the information I found
The following site provides a wonderful history of the Aladdin from
its birth as the English Tally Ho Motel in 1964 to date -
Just prior to the 1980 bidding wars that triggered the lawsuit, the
following events went down
In August, 1979, general manager James Abraham, bail bondsman Charles
Goldfarb, Tamer, and casino boss Edward Monazym were convicted by a
Detroit Federal Jury of conspiring to allow hidden owners to exert
control over the resort. The Nevada Gaming Commission then closed the
hotel but U.S. District Judge Harry Claiborne opened it three hours
later warning he had "special powers" as a federal judge. Aladdin
attorney/owner Sorkis Webbe was indicted in connection with a $1
million kickback scheme during an expansion project at the hotel. The
closing of the resort would impact 800 casino employees and 1,200
other employees at the hotel.
Btw, the attorney on the Aladdin Hotel / Teamsters Loan Kickback case
was one Marvin Rudnick. More information about him is available here
(search for Rudnick once you are on the page, there are several
references; its a very long article)
On September 5, 1979 the Aladdin Hotel Corp., Sorkis Webbe and Del
Webb Corp. were indicted along with five individuals - Lee Linton,
Fred Kennedy, Dennis Piotrowski, Robert C. Tindell and James R. Comer
- on charges of conspiracy to defraud the Teamsters Union during the
1974-1976 Aladdin remodel. The indictment alleges that subcontractors
were forced to pay kickbacks during the Aladdin construction project.
(As a side note, Sorkis Webbe was also an attorney)
This is from a timeline of the Aladdin that is at
Immediately following the indictment, on October 12, 1979, five
County Commissioners sitting as the County Licensing Board agree to
revoke the Aladdin's Class C slot and unrestricted gaming license,
three tavern and one service bar liquor licenses. Jan. 24, 1980, is
the date set for the revocation.
The case of interest then begins to unravel starting on October 25,
1979, when Johnny Carson and former Del Webb executive Ed Nigro make
an offer to buy the Aladdin.
On December 17, 1979, the Las Vegas SUN reports that singer Wayne
Newton along with his manager Jay Stream and Kentucky millionaire Dr.
Donald Cameron are interested in buying the Aladdin.
Apparently, this is where things started to heat up. The document
that provides most of the information that follows is only available
in Google Cache at
However, as you will see, the document is jumbled. I cleaned it up in
order to extract the information that follows.
Although in January of 1980 an agreement was reached between the
Aladdin and a group consisting of Johnny Carson, Ed Nigro and National
Kinney Corporation to buy the hotel for $105 million, this deal
eventually collapsed in May of 1980.
The timeline at
provides a great summary of the main events of 1980-1981 (also a 20
On August 21, 1980, the hotel was sold to Wayne Newton and Valley Bank
for $85 million, and the hotel reopened on October 10, 1980. But by
June of 1982 Newton decides to sell his share in the hotel back to Ed
Torres. While the teamster trials continue to rage all along, Newton
and Torres start a court fight of their own.
During 1980 and 1981 NBC (home of Johnny Carson) airs three stories
(Oct 6 1980, Nov 6 1980, June 12 1981) claiming that Newton financed
his purchase of the Aladdin with Mob money. A Las Vegas jury finds
NBC guilty of defaming Newton and calls for $19 million in damages in
1986, later reduced to $5.2 million by Myron Crocker in 1987.
Brian Ross and Ira Silverman, NBC journalists who worked on the
stories were also named in the lawsuit. Newtons lawyers claimed that
the network was trying to play up to Carson who had lost the takeover
*** Floyd Abrams was attorney for NBC. ***
From the jumbled file
A jury in Nevada lass Vegas found that the television network's
October 1980 story created a false impression that the Mafia had
helped the singer buy the Aladdin Hotel-Casino in exchange for a
hidden share and Wayne Newton had deceived Nevada gaming officials.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of criminal appeals did not say whether the
story as a whole was false but said any false impressions were not the
result of the kind of journalistic misconduct required for libel suits
by public figures.
*** The Judge who ruled on the reduced damages was U.S. District Judge
Myron Crocker. ***
*** Judge William Norris offered comments; he sat with the 9th U.S.
Circuit Court of Criminal Appeals that had eventually dismissed the
*** NBC News President at the time was Michael Gartner. ***
*** Morton Galane represented Wayne Newton. ***
The case was dismissed by Norris of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of
Criminal Appeals, which overturned even the $5.2 million ruling in
favor of Newton.
In an interesting twist, Norris asked the lawyers to compare the case
to the Bernstein and Woodward Washington Post stories that brought
about the resignation of Nixon.
I hope this response adequately addresses your request. Please let me
know if you are in need of additional information concerning this
Wayne Newton tells the story to Gambling Magazine
"ALADDIN HOTEL" "johnny carson"