Friday, June 6, 2008

GREAT MOMENTS IN CORPORADO CRIME

AP Broadcom Corp. co-founder Henry T. Nicholas III was in custody on charges that he slipped ecstasy into the drinks of technology executives, maintained a warehouse to store cocaine and tried to conceal his illegal conduct with bribes and death threats. The billionaire also is accused of committing conspiracy, securities fraud and other violations while he led the Irvine-based computer chip company. . .

A successful entrepreneur, Nicholas is accused of using much of his fortune to fund drug parties in airplanes and luxury homes and to build a secret tunnel and room beneath his mansion in Laguna Hills. . .

The 18-page indictment on drug charges alleges that Nicholas kept four properties in Orange County and Las Vegas, including a warehouse in Laguna Niguel, Calif., where he stashed and distributed cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy. He later remodeled the warehouse with private rooms and furnished it with art and high-end electronics. . .

In 2001, Nicholas smoked so much marijuana during a flight on a private jet between Orange County and Las Vegas that the pilot had to put on an oxygen mask, the indictment states.

Nicholas also required his unnamed coconspirators to provide detailed invoices for drugs they sold to him, and used code names such as "party favors" and "refreshments" to conceal what was being sold, prosecutors alleged. . .

One suit was filed by Nicholas' former bodyguard and personal assistant, Kenji Kato, and the second by a construction crew that claimed they were hired to build an underground lair for Nicholas where he could indulge in sex with prostitutes and drug use. The workers claimed Nicholas failed to pay them millions of dollars and used intimidation and death threats to prevent them from leaving the project, which was kept secret from Nicholas' wife and city inspectors.

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