Meet Michael Blutrich, mild-mannered New York lawyer and founder of Scores, the hottest strip club in New York City history, funded by the proceeds of an insurance embezzlement scheme.
All Blutrich wanted was to lay low, make the club a success, and put his criminal acts behind him. But the Mafia got involved, and soon the FBI came knocking.
Scores became wildly popular, in part thanks to Blutrich’s ability to successfully bend the rules of adult entertainment. It was the first club in Manhattan to feature lap dancing by ignoring existing requirements. He also sidesteped statutes requiring topless dancers to wear pasties. His formula worked, and Scores grew into the hottest club in Manhattan, frequented by sports superstars, Oscar-winning actors, television icons, Grammy-winning singers, and political notables alike.
Unfortunately for Blutrich, it would all soon implode.
Scores was located in a neighborhood controlled by the Gambino crime family, and it became a hotbed for illicit mob activity, culminating in a double murder of two of his employees. When federal prosecutors started sniffing around for potential crimes, he went from carefree club owner to undercover spy in a heartbeat.
To obtain maximum leniency for his insurance fraud, Blutrich became an unlikely but highly successful undercover FBI informant. He wore body wires and placed ceiling cameras in his offices, and he was eventually credited with more than thirty Mafia convictions, including a crime-family head and associates from multiple international families.
For his cooperation, the Department of Justice and the FBI assured him he would avoid any significant jail time—or so they said.
Here Blutrich tells it all: recording armed gangsters in the act of committing felonies, stealthily evading discovery, living with death threats, revealing long-covered-up celebrity doings, enduring a psychotic break from the pressures, and losing everything in his life in the name of earning redemption.
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Classic Story From A Classy Guy
I first heard this story on Jim Harold's Crime Scene podcast. The author told a riveting tale of his dealings with the Mafia while running his club, Scores, in the 1990's. After hearing that short 30 minute synopsis I had to hear "the rest of the story." His narration was very engaging in the podcast and I had to hear more from the audiobook (the author is the audiobook narrator). I got a clear sense of how it felt to be wired and to infiltrate the mob as part of an FBI investigation. I felt almost as anxious as he felt when, at several points, he came extremely close to being discovered as an informant. Please don't hesitate to buy this audiobook! It is one of the best I have heard in several years. Thank you, Michael, for your risky work documenting the Mafia's activities and providing a front row seat to an exciting story.
I could not stop listening to this book. Usually, when I see that the author of a book is also its reader, I pass it up. But I'm glad I didn't in this case; Mr. Blutrich brings a wonderful New York/Woody Allen-esque energy to his reading, which is oftentimes hilarious and always riveting. And I found the ending really shocking and enraging. All in all a great true crime story, a great slice of a bygone era, with colorful characters. Highly recommend.