Tony Tursi

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Anthony (Tony) Tursi (February 16, 1901 - April 22, 1989) was an Italian-American organized crime figure who ran nightclubs in San Juan, Puerto Rico during the 1950s and 1970s.

Tursi was best known for owning the "La Riviera", the most famous adult entertainment center in San Juan. A popular attraction for locals, expatriates and tourists, La Riveria was constantly being raided by the police. In the 1970s, societal changes marked the decline of his club. Tursi would say "I’m going broke because people are now getting for free what we used to charge for!" Tursi repeatedly rejected suggestions to turn La Riviera into a gay disco as he found the idea personally offensive. Tursi finally agreed to sell his nightclub to the government, which promptly demolished it.

Tursi also took interest in civic affairs. In 1968, Tursi unsuccessfully ran for mayor of San Juan. He also provided poor children with parties on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Three Kings Day.

In 1976, Tursi and his son Philip Tursi pleaded guilty to possessing 2,400 stolen blank tickets for Eastern Airlines. Part of the plea bargain deal involved granting youthful offender status and probation to Philip. On February 20, 1976, the court fined Anthony Tursi $5,000 and sentenced him to five years' imprisonment, to be served consecutively to a sentence in Puerto Rico. The court also sentenced fined Philip Tursi $5,000 and sentenced him to imprisonment of one year and one day. Anthony Tursi later appealed the verdict based on Philip's sentence, but the appeal was denied.[1]

He was released on November 30, 1979. Tursi then retired to Nevada, where he died on April 22, 1989.

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