UFC President Dana White was named in a lawsuit launched Friday night as an alleged prominent Las Vegas businessman who was extorted by $ 200,000.
His name was included in the Clark County lawsuit against White by the man who served his sentence for the sensational crime.
White, 50, who has leading Republican ties and is world famous, heads the Las Vegas-based Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world’s largest mixed martial arts organization.
Ernesto Joshua Ramos, the man accused of extortion, ended up pleading guilty in federal court and served a 366-day sentence.
Ramos accused White in his lawsuit on Friday of breaking a deal in April 2016 to pay him $ 450,000 for the non-disclosure of White’s name after the criminal case was closed.
Ramos, 42, a real estate agent and personal trainer, also said in the lawsuit that he did not ask White for money. And he alleges that White’s attorneys provided false, derogatory information about him to the FBI to incite the agents to investigate Ramos for extortion.
White and the other accused have not yet had an opportunity to respond to the allegations in court.
In a statement on Saturday, White said:
“I just found out that a b ———- lawsuit was filed against me yesterday. This guy went to federal prison for trying to extort me over five years ago. Now he has hired a lawyer who is also a convicted criminal, and he is still trying to extort me for $ 10 million. He did not receive money from me the last time and he will not receive money from me this time. I can’t wait for the court to quickly dismiss this so that I can get rid of these scumbags forever. “
Several attempts on Saturday to reach White’s attorney, Don Campbell, failed.
At the outset of the criminal case, a federal magistrate signed an unusual protection order prohibiting the disclosure of the name of the businessman – not even his initials – or the company in any public record.
The criminal case, first reported by the Review-Journal in 2015, stems from what prosecutors alleged to be a secret meeting abroad in October 2014 between an anonymous businessman and a dancer from adult nightclub. At the time, White was overseeing a UFC event in Brazil, according to the civil lawsuit.
White, who was married, had seen the stripper at Spearmint Rhino for months, paying his large sums of money to dance for him, according to the civil complaint.
The stripper, Ramos’s girlfriend, registered with White without White’s knowledge, having sex in their hotel room in Brazil, according to the costume. She used her cell phone.
FBI agents arrested Ramos in Las Vegas in January 2015 and accused him of trying to extort $ 200,000 from the businessman after he met the dancer abroad. FBI agents filmed the exchange of money between him and Ramos during a late night meeting at the businessman’s office, the government said.
The civil lawsuit, prepared by Las Vegas lawyer Ian Christopherson, says that White and his lawyers offered money to Ramos during the criminal case to persuade him to plead guilty. But the suit said they did not receive cash after acknowledging the crime in court.
“White’s actions were fraudulent, oppressive and designed to encourage Ramos to plead guilty so that he could negotiate a substantial settlement, which would prevent the disclosure of his actions at trial for the personal benefit of White and its businesses and related interests” , alleges the trial.
The UFC, which is also a defendant in the lawsuit, was sold for around $ 4 billion in July 2016. Part of the deal included allowing White to continue hosting events and to remain the face of the UFC.
Ramos attempted to withdraw his guilty plea agreement in June 2016 after the non-disclosure negotiations with White collapsed. But after a hearing, US district judge Gloria Navarro rejected her candidacy. A federal appeal committee later confirmed Navarro’s decision.
Christopherson was convicted of tax evasion in 2012 and later suspended from practicing law, but the Nevada Supreme Court reinstated his license in July 2018.
Ramos was charged by a federal grand jury in September 2015. He was charged with demanding $ 200,000 from the businessman by threatening to make public sex tapes in text messages and cell phone conversations.
Ramos pleaded guilty in November 2015 to one count of using an interstate communications facility to promote the extortion and was sentenced to prison. He is now a free man.
As part of his plea to the government, Ramos agreed to hand over all of the remaining sex tapes and confirm that there are no others.
An FBI complaint against Ramos in 2015 identified the businessman only as a married local resident who has two minor children and who is “co-owner of a well-known business” with access to a business jet.
Over a two-year period, the businessman paid the stripper about $ 200,000, usually $ 10,000 per visit, to dance and sleep with him in a private room of an adult nightclub, according to the complaint.
The name of the stripper was also not disclosed in the court documents, and she was not charged.
Journalist Adam Hill contributed to this story.
Contact Jeff German at [email protected] or 702-380-4564. To follow @JGermanRJ on Twitter. The German is a member of the Review-Journal’s investigation team, focusing on reports that hold leaders and agencies accountable and report wrongdoing. Support our journalism.