June 03, 2001 05:56pm
Gold Club Insider Talks
Source: Independent for AINews
by: Rick C. Limpert
(ATLANTA, GA) -- Former Gold Club Executive, Thomas "Ziggy" Sicignano took the stand Friday in the Gold Club racketeering trial. Sicignano confirmed previous testimonies including Gold Club owner Steven Kaplan palled around with Mob boss John Gotti, provided sex partners to celebrities and star athletes, and among other things ran a loan sharking operation.
Sicignano, who worked off and on for the Gold Club, worked for Kaplan's businesses in New York and Florida since 1984. Sicignano says it was Kaplan who introduced him to Gotti in 1995 at the World Series. Kaplan told Sicignano he was "with" Gotti, which he interpreted meaning his clubs has ties to the Gambino crime family.
Sicignano said Kaplan was a big New York Knicks basketball fan, and it was a basketball player who gave Kaplan the idea to provide sports stars with strippers and sexual favors to improve the Gold Club's reputation. Larry Johnson, then of the Charlotte Hornets was that player. Johnson requested a stripper be sent to his hotel room, Sicignano refused, but Kaplan was struck by the idea, and it became part of the Gold Club's "formula" to make money. Also mentioned on Friday was the time Kaplan sent three dancers to John Starks, of the New York Knicks. Starks concurred with this in his grand jury testimony.
"Ziggy" Sicignano will be back on the stand Monday morning.
Rick C. Limpert