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Originally published January 28, 2010 at 12:42 PM | Page modified January 28, 2010 at 8:04 PM

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Intelius co-founder charged with lying in Colacurcio strip-club investigation

A co-founder of the Bellevue-based people-finder service Intelius has been indicted on a charge of lying to a grand jury about having sex with dancers at Rick's as part of the ongoing prosecution of strip-club owner Frank Colacurcio Sr. and the government's efforts to shut his clubs down.

Seattle Times staff reporter

A co-founder of the Bellevue-based people-finder service Intelius has been indicted on a charge of lying to a grand jury about having sex with dancers at Rick's as part of the ongoing prosecution of strip-club owner Frank Colacurcio Sr. and the government's efforts to shut his clubs down.

John Kenneth Arnold, 47, pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon during his arraignment before a U.S. magistrate judge in U.S. District Court in Seattle. He was released on his own recognizance.

The indictment was issued last September and unsealed upon Arnold's arrest Thursday morning.

The indictment alleges that during sworn testimony on Feb. 18, 2009, Arnold was asked a series of questions about whether he had engaged in sex acts with dancers at Rick's. Arnold answered no.

The indictment alleges Arnold had lied in his testimony.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Greenburg, who is overseeing the Colacurcio prosecution, declined to comment on the government's evidence. However, search warrants and a lengthy indictment filed in the Colacurcio money-laundering, prostitution and racketeering prosecution revealed that agents had hidden cameras in an executive area of the club.

The grand jury has also obtained evidence and testimony from dancers.

The 92-year-old Colacurcio, his son, Frank Jr. and three longtime associates — Leroy R. Christiansen, David C. Ebert and Steven M. Fueston — were indicted last July on charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to use interstate facilities in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to engage in money laundering and mail fraud. A fourth associate, Colacurcio's longtime friend and caregiver, John Gilbert "Gil" Conte, 76, pleaded guilty to prostitution-related conspiracy charges in November.

They operated four clubs, including Rick's, which the government is now trying to seize.

Indictments for lying to a grand jury are relatively rare, and the U.S. Attorney's Office was clearly sending a message with this one.

In a statement, office spokeswoman Emily Langlie said, "Truthful testimony is the bedrock of our criminal justice system. When a witness seeks to mislead the grand jury, or the court, on a material matter, the consequences are significant and the punishment can be substantial. Our indictment today seeks to hold Mr. Arnold accountable for untruthful testimony to the grand jury."

Arnold is listed as one of Intelius' co-founders. It offers a number of online directories and services, including a "sleaze detector" allows subscribers to obtain criminal and other background information on prospective dates.

According to the company's Web site, Arnold has served as executive vice president of business development since Intelius was formed in 2003. Before that, he was an executive vice president at InfoSpace. Telephone messages seeking comment from Intelius were not returned.

Mike Carter: 206-464-3706 or mcarter@seattletimes.com

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