Club operator who fleeced Bolaris is sentenced

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2009 file photo: John Bolaris at the opening of Union Trust restaurant. ( Elizabeth Robertson / Staff Photographer )

The South Beach club operator who orchestrated the "bar girls" scheme that fleeced former Philadelphia weatherman John Bolaris out of $43,000 and eventually cost him his job was sentenced to 12 years in prison today.

According the MIami Herald, operator Albert Takhalov cried as he was sentenced.

Also sentenced today were Isaac Feldman, an investor in two of the clubs implicated in the "bar girls" ring, who received eight years, and Stanislav Pavlenko, will be sentenced later this month.

The "bar girls" ringleader, Alec “Oleg” Simchuk, was previously sentenced to three years after cooperating with the U.S. attorney's office and testifying as a government witness.

Takhalov, Pavlenko and Feldman were convicted of conspiracy, wire-fraud and money-laundering charges following an 11-week federal trial in Miami in December of last year.

"I feel great, I feel relieved that all that stuff is paid off and they’re behind bars," Bolaris told me. "If I didn’t [testify], that operation would be still be operating. It was very embarassing ... but I feel good. I’ve had a hardship since then, not working and really feel that I was blackballed from the TV news industry because of it."

As I reported last month, Bolaris plans to leave Philly for New York City come June with some new job opportunities he's keeping hush hush.

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