Monday, Oct. 24, 2011


“Someone is lining his pockets with cash, and it isn’t the family members who contributed the Mafia Collection” says Mob expert LUELLEN SMILEY, of the declaration of bankruptcy filed last week by the Las Vegas Mob Experience at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas.

Smiley’s father, Hollywood gangster Allen Smiley, was featured in the exhibit’s Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel room as Siegel’s best friend and partner in the 1930s and ‘40s.  Allen Smiley was seated next to best friend Siegel the night he was murdered.

Declaring bankruptcy is “a chicken move,” continues Smiley.  “Family members have been waiting months for payments.  I saw it coming, a month ago.”

The Wall Street Journal, in its bankruptcy blog, reported this week that JVLV Holdings LLC would take over ownership in exchange for putting $2 million to pay off some of the museum’s creditors.  The bankruptcy case comes as investor and contractor lawsuits brew against the projects former developer, Jay Bloom, who faces accusations of fraud that he’s fought in court.  The proposed sale would allow the buyer of the Las Vegas Mob Experience to leave those lawsuits against Bloom behind.

“The Mob Experience brought together both visual and narrative about the gangster history,” continues Smiley. “This was an extraordinary gamble for Jay Bloom but he earned my trust and other family members. I expected to be out there every few months for personal tours, discussions, and interviews, and if he can resurrect this sinking museum, I’ll stand on my head on the Strip.”

Luellen Smiley’s “Growing Up With Gangsters” stories have appeared in the New York Post, MORE Magazine and numerous publications throughout Southern California.  She currently is finishing a feature length script based on her life as the daughter of Hollywood gangster, Allen Smiley   Luellen’s extensive research has led to numerous TV and documentary film interviews regarding the Los Angeles mob scene, and especially Benjamin Siegel, her father’s best friend and business partner.

Luellen Smiley is available for interviews about the Las Vegas Mob Experience and “Growing up with Gangsters,” as well as HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and PBS’ Prohibition.


KABC-TV interview on Las Vegas Mob Experience




Media Contacts:

Scott Segelbaum / Right Brain Agency

610.389.1807 /

Randy Alexander / Randex Communications

856.596.1410 /

Online press kits with downloadable jpegs at



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