Friday, October 19, 2007

The Plot Thickens

FBI raids magician Copperfield after Seattle woman says she was raped

By Jennifer Sullivan and The Associated Press

A Seattle woman claims that magician David Copperfield raped her earlier this year in the Bahamas, according to authorities.

Seattle police have a copy of the rape report, but have turned the case over to the FBI because the alleged incident happened abroad. The woman didn't report the assault until she returned home. On Thursday, Seattle-based FBI agents raided a Las Vegas warehouse owned by the famed magician.

FBI Special Agent David Staretz, spokesman for the FBI office in Las Vegas, told The Associated Press, "I can confirm that there's investigative activity at the warehouse." He would not say more and directed further questions to the Seattle FBI office, which is leading the investigation.

Robbie Burroughs, FBI spokeswoman in Seattle, declined to give specifics of the investigation. She said Seattle agents are investigating a case with connections to Las Vegas. She wouldn't say whether the case is connected to Copperfield.

"The investigation is related to a Seattle case. The Seattle case is pending and that means we can't say anything about it," Burroughs said.

Las Vegas television station KLAS-TV reported that on Wednesday night, 12 agents raided the warehouse owned and operated by Copperfield, who is a regular performer at the MGM Grand casino-hotel. The station reports that the agents seized a computer hard drive, digital-camera system and nearly $2 million in cash.

Copperfield, 51, is perhaps the world's most famous magician. He is known for staging large-scale illusions, including making the Statue of Liberty disappear and walking through the Great Wall of China.

Copperfield has dubbed his Las Vegas warehouse the International Museum & Library of the Conjuring Arts. He apparently stores tricks and memorabilia from around the world at the warehouse.

Copperfield's Las Vegas attorney, David Chesnoff, said his client had been contacted by investigators.

"We understand there is an investigation, are in touch with the investigators, and are respecting the confidentiality of the investigation," Chesnoff said.

Copperfield has been a longtime performer at the Hollywood Theater at the MGM Grand casino-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, where he has performed in six to eight-week stints several times a year, said MGM Mirage Inc. spokeswoman Yvette Monet.

Monet said Copperfield performed two shows Wednesday night, which were at the end of his most recent run. Monet said Copperfield was next scheduled to perform in Jakarta, Indonesia.


Scott Ocheltree said...

He's got 2 million in cash in his warehouse? All I can picture is him swimming in it like Scrooge McDuck.

Anonymous said...

Can they really raid your business and take your shit just on an allegation, or is there some hard evidence here? (no pun intended).

Tom said...

Well I know first hand that the courts will hand out restraining orders based solely on unsubstantiated allegations.