Gold Club defendant says he will plead guilty

MYRTLE BEACH (WBTW)- The man investigators call the ringleader in a federal money laundering case says he will plead guilty to all charges under one condition.

According to court documents filed by Vladimir Handl’s attorneys, Handl will plead guilty if he is still allowed to appeal Judge William Alsup’s refusal to dismiss the case on technical grounds.

Handl and several other Myrtle Beach-area businessmen are charged with racketeering, conspiracy, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and various money laundering and bank fraud charges in the case of the former Gold Club in Myrtle Beach.

News13 reported in September both Handl and Michael Rose, the owner of the former Gold Club, asked the judge to dismiss all charges, saying the government entrapped them.

In October, Judge Alsup refused to dismiss the charges, saying both Handl and Rose were active participants in the money laundering.

The most recent court documents say the government rejected two of Handl’s offers to plead guilty. The first offer allowed him to appeal the Judge’s refusal to dismiss the case. In the second offer, Handl would plead guilty, but only if the government would allow him a stipulated bench trial in which his 17-page statement admitting his involvement in the crimes would be the only exhibit.

Handl’s attorneys say their client doesn’t dispute the indictment that relate to his conduct, but say he hasn’t entered an open plea because it may jeopardize his rights to appeal the motion to dismiss all charges.

“The only course left for Mr. Handl to accept responsibility while still preserving his constitutional right to appeal is to wait two months until the February trial date then sit through a long trial in while he would not dispute any of the charges against him,” court documents state. “Such a process would be a waste not only of Mr. Handl’s very limited resources but the Court’s as well.”

Handl’s attorneys asked the judge to schedule a status hearing to discuss Handl’s plea offers on December 15.

The trial is set to begin on February 9, 2016. Count on updates from News13 and wbtw.com

Related Stories:
Full court documents

Federal judge denies request to dismiss charges in former Gold Club case

Motion filed to drop federal racketeering charges against Myrtle Beach businessmen

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