By Zach Arnold | January 5, 2009
Update (1/6/08): Here are more details about the new Sartini monster house being constructed.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal has a story about the US court system, USA Capital, and investors who lost so much money that they are living out of cars and selling off homes to try to pay off debts they have.
However, one group of investors who put money into USA Capital ended up recovering all of the money they invested:
The Fertitta family, founder of Station Casinos in Las Vegas, had $17 million invested in USA Capital and got it all back when one of their attorneys was on the oversight committee, Larson said. The attorney then resigned from the committee.
Anthony Zerbo, a 76-year-old from San Jose, Calif., invested about $900,000 in USA Capital over six years after seeing an advertisement in a financial publication.
“When you’re rolling it over and it’s doing good … you think first deeds of trust, you can’t go wrong,” Zerbo said. “Toward the end, things weren’t going good and we tried to pull back our loans and it wasn’t there.”
The first thought that came to mind when I read this story is the story that Bob Meyrowitz repeats over and over again, in which he claims that Lorenzo Fertitta was on board of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and that, somehow (according to Meyrowitz), Fertitta wouldn’t sanction UFC in Nevada and that this turn of events led to UFC being sold to the Fertittas for $2 million USD.
Here’s the actual story about how SEG came to sell the UFC to Zuffa, gathered from multiple issues of the Wrestling Observer, with edits made in brackets to fill in context or correct grammar, and with a timeline clarification courtesy of Whaledog.com: “Meyrowitz [former UFC president Bob Meyrowitz] would go to InDemand [the PPV company] and ask what he needed to do to get back on InDemand, and they said the UFC needed to get sanctioned [by a major sanctioning body]. He got sanctioned in New Jersey, and was basically told that he needed to get it sanctioned in Nevada, as that was the most influential athletic commission in the country. [Meyrowitz] set up a meeting in Las Vegas, and at the time, sanctioning was going to happen based on what inside sources were telling both Meyrowitz and InDemand. Suddenly, the night before the approval that was going to be the step to put the UFC back on the map, Meyrowitz was told that he was going to be voted down [the next day, when his request was scheduled to be voted on by the members of the Nevada State Athletic Commission]. He didn’t have the votes. He was also told that if he followed through the next day, and was voted down, he would never have an opportunity to be sanctioned. So, he pulled out, they created some cover reason as to why he was pulling his attempt at sanctioning, and basically he was screwed. Lorenzo Fertitta [the current co-owner of the UFC] was an influential member of the Nevada commission at the time. [Approximately one year later], Fertitta purchased the UFC [for $2 million], then got sanctioning in Nevada, and then got on PPV.”
Meanwhile, life apparently continues to be very good for Fertitta family members in Orange County (the ritzy Emerald Bay area):
Plans for one—116 Emerald Bay – call for an 8,924-square-foot home with an elevator, two basements opening out onto the beach, plus a pool and spa on the outside deck. The lowest level features a gym, theater, game room and a “wine alley.”
The kitchen upstairs will have a walk-in fridge, while the “great room” will have a bar, TV lounge and pizza oven. The master suite on the fourth level features a chamber called the “prayer room,” and the hall has a set of niches for votive candles. The home will have two garages with room for five cars. Indoors, it will have 11 bath or powder rooms, four bedrooms plus the master suite. Completion is expected in 2010.
Property records list the owners as Blake and Delise Sartini, sister and brother-in-law to Las Vegas Station Casino bosses Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta. The couple declined through an intermediary to comment.