Manhattan-Based Strip Club Manager Accused of Drugging Customers, Filming them with Strippers and Robbing Them of Thousands

Luiggi Canessa
Luiggi Canessa. Facebook

A Manhattan man working as a manager at an Albany strip club is accused of drugging customers, charging charging thousands of dollars to their cards and filming them engaging in sex acts with dancers.

"Men would go into Shenanigans as customers and leave as victims," Assistant US Attorney Jonathan Reiner said at the detention hearing for 46-year-old Luiggi Canessa, who is facing a federal drug charge in the case.

Canessa Busted After Selling 5 Grams of Methampheamine to FBI Informant

The allegations against Canessa, who managed Shenanigans Gentlemen's Club, came after he was busted for selling over 5 grams of pure methamphetamine to an FBI informant in February, the Times Union reported.

According to Reiner, the strip club workers would secretly drug the customers, and swipe their credit cards to the tune of $10,000 while they were passed out. Reiner said Canessa kept photos of surveillance videos on his iPhone of customers engaging in sex acts with dancers.

Investigators Seized Guns, Cocaine, Ecstasy and $41K Cash from Reiner's Home

Reiner added that investigators seized four guns from Canessa's home when he was arrested on April 9 and found cocaine, 1,000 pills of ecstasy and $41,000 in cash.

He admitted to selling meth, cocaine, marijuana and MDMA from his home, according to News10 ABC. Reiner added that Canessa, who also managed an adjoining lingerie shop, underreported his income by more than 500 percent, telling probation officers that he made only $3,000 a month from the two hustles.

In addition, Reiner said Canessa boasted of having ties to law enforcement and kept an "enemies list" on his smartphone that included the lead investigator of the case against him.

Canessa's lawyer downplayed the allegations, along with concerns about his client's supposed "enemies list" and alleged history of intimidation. Any strip club happenings would "raise eyebrows" if looked at under a microscope, public defender Jeremy Sporn said at the hearing.

On Thursday, a judge agreed that Canessa could be a flight risk and ruled in favor of keeping him locked up in an Albany County jail ahead of his trial. The FBI has been investigating a "wide array of crime" including drug and sex trafficking and wire fraud since last year, according to the criminal complaint. Canessa could face up to 40 years in prison if he is convicted of the charges against him.