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Scores: How I Opened the Hottest Strip Club in New York City, Was Extorted out of Millions by the Gambino Family, and Became One of the Most Successful Mafia Informants in FBI History

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A gay man who created New York’s most notorious den of heterosexuality . . . an anxious, anything-but-hardboiled lawyer who became one of the most successful undercover mob informants in history. . . . In this hilarious and fascinating account, Michael Blutrich takes you inside star-studded 1990s New York, mafia sit-downs, and the witness protection program. Meet Michael D. A gay man who created New York’s most notorious den of heterosexuality . . . an anxious, anything-but-hardboiled lawyer who became one of the most successful undercover mob informants in history. . . . In this hilarious and fascinating account, Michael Blutrich takes you inside star-studded 1990s New York, mafia sit-downs, and the witness protection program. Meet Michael D. Blutrich, founder of Scores, the hottest strip club in New York history. A resourceful lawyer at one of the city’s most respected firms, Blutrich fell into the skin trade almost by accident, but it was his legal savvy that made Scores the first club in Manhattan to feature lap dances and enabled him to neatly sidestep a law requiring dancers to wear pasties by instead covering their nipples with latex paint. Soon Scores, the club Howard Stern called “like being in a candy shop,” was a home away from home for everyone from sports superstars and Oscar-winning actors to pop singers and political notables alike. The catch? The club was smack dab in John Gotti’s territory, and the mafia wanted a piece of the action. The Gambino family doesn’t take no for an answer . . . and neither, as it turns out, does the FBI. In his memoir, Blutrich recounts in detail how his beloved club became a hub for the mafia, and how he found himself caught up in an FBI investigation, sorely struggling to juggle roles of business owner and undercover spy. As his life spiraled out of control, Blutrich would face the loss of almost everything dear to him. But whether marching a line of topless strippers as human exhibits into a trial to save the club’s liquor license or wearing wires to meetings with armed gangsters, he never lost his sense of humor or his nerve. In Scores, Blutrich finally tells all—from triumph to betrayal—in his own funny, self-deprecating voice.


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A gay man who created New York’s most notorious den of heterosexuality . . . an anxious, anything-but-hardboiled lawyer who became one of the most successful undercover mob informants in history. . . . In this hilarious and fascinating account, Michael Blutrich takes you inside star-studded 1990s New York, mafia sit-downs, and the witness protection program. Meet Michael D. A gay man who created New York’s most notorious den of heterosexuality . . . an anxious, anything-but-hardboiled lawyer who became one of the most successful undercover mob informants in history. . . . In this hilarious and fascinating account, Michael Blutrich takes you inside star-studded 1990s New York, mafia sit-downs, and the witness protection program. Meet Michael D. Blutrich, founder of Scores, the hottest strip club in New York history. A resourceful lawyer at one of the city’s most respected firms, Blutrich fell into the skin trade almost by accident, but it was his legal savvy that made Scores the first club in Manhattan to feature lap dances and enabled him to neatly sidestep a law requiring dancers to wear pasties by instead covering their nipples with latex paint. Soon Scores, the club Howard Stern called “like being in a candy shop,” was a home away from home for everyone from sports superstars and Oscar-winning actors to pop singers and political notables alike. The catch? The club was smack dab in John Gotti’s territory, and the mafia wanted a piece of the action. The Gambino family doesn’t take no for an answer . . . and neither, as it turns out, does the FBI. In his memoir, Blutrich recounts in detail how his beloved club became a hub for the mafia, and how he found himself caught up in an FBI investigation, sorely struggling to juggle roles of business owner and undercover spy. As his life spiraled out of control, Blutrich would face the loss of almost everything dear to him. But whether marching a line of topless strippers as human exhibits into a trial to save the club’s liquor license or wearing wires to meetings with armed gangsters, he never lost his sense of humor or his nerve. In Scores, Blutrich finally tells all—from triumph to betrayal—in his own funny, self-deprecating voice.

30 review for Scores: How I Opened the Hottest Strip Club in New York City, Was Extorted out of Millions by the Gambino Family, and Became One of the Most Successful Mafia Informants in FBI History

  1. 5 out of 5

    Randal White

    Scores is the story of Michael Blutrich, a successful New York attorney who opened one of the most famous "gentlemen's clubs" in the country. The real story, though, is how the Gambino crime family got it's hooks into the club, and how Blutrich was made an FBI informant to take down the mafia family. I honestly could not stop reading this book. It was exciting, well written, and grabbed your attention right away. Blutrich's descriptions of his "adventure" made you feel afraid for him, yet somew Scores is the story of Michael Blutrich, a successful New York attorney who opened one of the most famous "gentlemen's clubs" in the country. The real story, though, is how the Gambino crime family got it's hooks into the club, and how Blutrich was made an FBI informant to take down the mafia family. I honestly could not stop reading this book. It was exciting, well written, and grabbed your attention right away. Blutrich's descriptions of his "adventure" made you feel afraid for him, yet somewhat disgusted by him, at the same time. I won't get into the morality of a strip club. That's for someone else to decide. I just sat back and enjoyed the story. This easily could have been a five-star review, except for one thing. Blutrich, in the beginning of the book, talks vaguely about his "Florida troubles". Throughout the book, as he goes deeper and deeper into his informant status, he mentions this many times, but never really gets into it. Finally, you determine that he is under indictment in Florida for some type of insurance fraud. His agreement with the New York U.S. Attorney's and the FBI is that if he keeps informing on the Gambino's (and others), he will get a substantial sentence reduction. And informing he does, very effectively. And it looks like things are going to go his way. BUT, the Florida U.S. Attorney's are not going for this agreement, as Blutrich goes on and on about. According to him, the prosecuting attorney and judge in Florida are unfairly against him. They go out of their way to inflict unnecessary harm on him, based mostly on jealousy. Blutrich ends up serving WAY more time than he thought, all because of this one U.S. Attorney and Judge. You are left feeling that he has really been screwed over by the system. So I did a little digging, researching the book a little further. Turns out, his little insurance fraud case in Florida was actually a MUCH bigger deal than he let on. According to a 60 Minutes profile, what actually happened was that Blutrich opened Scores with money he stole from a large life insurance company in Florida. The money he stole left nearly 26,000 elderly policy holders bilked out of their life savings. The theft totalled $440 million dollars, one of the biggest white collar crimes in U.S. history. Aha! So maybe that's why the U.S. Attorney's in Florida were being so hard headed! Sure, he testified against the mob, and that's great, but in reality there was no nobel purpose, he did it only to save his own skin in Florida. He goes on and on about how unfairly he was treated, how he was promised almost no prison time yet ended up serving 13 years. What he doesn't tell you in the book was that his codefendant in the Florida case was treated much more harshly, ending up being sentenced to 845 years! So Blutrich really did get a big break. Blutrich's complaining and crying at the end of the book really kind of spoil what would have been an outstanding story.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Eve (Between The Bookends)

    It's books like this that make me realize I live a rather boring and mundane life. Seriously? How do people get themselves into these situations? And more importantly, how is this guy still breathing?? Anyways, on to the review. I enjoyed this one. The Mafia stuff was fascinating. The Scores stuff entertaining. The author had an engaging voice that kept me turning the pages. Overall just a really entertaining read. It's books like this that make me realize I live a rather boring and mundane life. Seriously? How do people get themselves into these situations? And more importantly, how is this guy still breathing?? Anyways, on to the review. I enjoyed this one. The Mafia stuff was fascinating. The Scores stuff entertaining. The author had an engaging voice that kept me turning the pages. Overall just a really entertaining read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    Ok. I have to admit two things- I have a thing for mafia/true crime books. I also have to admit that even though they are the equivalent of a buffet as compared to a high quality restaurant, I still love them. What I mean by that is, going in and reading these books, you know it isn't going to be great writing and it is going to be pretty basic. I needed to write that before writing my review. As I was reading this, I kept thinking, besides someone like me, who loves these types of books, who is Ok. I have to admit two things- I have a thing for mafia/true crime books. I also have to admit that even though they are the equivalent of a buffet as compared to a high quality restaurant, I still love them. What I mean by that is, going in and reading these books, you know it isn't going to be great writing and it is going to be pretty basic. I needed to write that before writing my review. As I was reading this, I kept thinking, besides someone like me, who loves these types of books, who is going to read this? Mafia lovers, yes, but fans of Scores? maybe? Howard Stern fans? Maybe as his name is dropped so many times in this book. While this wasn't a great book, it was an ok book. I felt like I was sitting next to the author as he was telling me stories about his club. This is a club that even though I have never gone to a strip club, I knew about it as a native New Yorker. This is how famous this club is. He told his stories through the book, but the problem is his voice was never there. They are great stories, but there was a disconnect. I am sure if I were truly sitting across from him, these stories would come off differently, but in book form there just wasn't a connection. The stories came off a bit disjointed, there wasn't emotion behind them, and they just kind of fell flat even though they were crazy stories involving the mob and killings and all sorts of wackiness. I wondered if there were a ghost writer, the book might have come off a bit differently. I gave this some 2,5 stars. I want to thank NetGalley for this book. I received it for free in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    📖Samuel📚

    Very interesting and with humor! I highly recommend to read this one 👍👌

  5. 5 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    I was given a copy of this book from Netgalley and BenBella Books for review. A rocket ride of a story. This book pulled me in and kept me there right up through the epilogue. Such a bizarre yet true story, that I kept shaking my head all through it at things that kept happening. Blutrich's writing is sardonic and funny and keeps a good pace. He's a gay lawyer who started the first sports/strip club SCORES in New York in the 1990's which quickly became a hit. At that time there weren't any classy I was given a copy of this book from Netgalley and BenBella Books for review. A rocket ride of a story. This book pulled me in and kept me there right up through the epilogue. Such a bizarre yet true story, that I kept shaking my head all through it at things that kept happening. Blutrich's writing is sardonic and funny and keeps a good pace. He's a gay lawyer who started the first sports/strip club SCORES in New York in the 1990's which quickly became a hit. At that time there weren't any classy gentlemen's clubs in New York, and it really took off. Next thing he knows, he's being shaken down by the mob, and has his own legal problems brewing from an insurance embezzlement scheme he'd gotten caught up in out of Florida when he was raising capital for the club. Now the FBI is after him to take care of his Florida problems by collecting evidence on the mob in exchange for lenience. Things get crazy and twisted in all directions, told in Blutrich's hilarious manner Filled with lots of drama from all of the different people he comes in contact with: the mob guys, celebrities, sports stars, politicians and law enforcement. A very engaging read with surprises at many turns.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Allan

    While not necessarily agreeing with the ethics of the establishment the author ran or his morals, this account of his cooperation with the FBI in targeting the mafia in 90s New York was fascinating, and while, post James Frey, I'm always a little dubious as to the authenticity of some of these books, it was certainly one that had me hooked from the first page.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    When Michael Blutrich first looked at becoming a partner in a club in New York City the original intent was that it be a high-end sports bar. But one of the partners pushed to include strippers and lap dancers and that led to the double-entendre name of Scores. At the time Blutrich was living in Florida. An attorney, he was trying to get untangled from an insurance company in which the principles had committed fraud, and he assisted with some loan schemes. This ends up playing an important part i When Michael Blutrich first looked at becoming a partner in a club in New York City the original intent was that it be a high-end sports bar. But one of the partners pushed to include strippers and lap dancers and that led to the double-entendre name of Scores. At the time Blutrich was living in Florida. An attorney, he was trying to get untangled from an insurance company in which the principles had committed fraud, and he assisted with some loan schemes. This ends up playing an important part in the latter part of the book. From the start, creating Scores ran into challenges working around organized crime figures who ran many of the activities in the area. Blutrich needed to work out getting approval of the Gambino Family just to open. A deal was eventually worked out in which the club would pass along $1000 in cash each week that went into the hands of John Gotti. They would also be required to pass along valet parking services to a nearby pizza restaurant owned by mob figures as well as subcontracting the coat-check service to the son of their main contact with the Gambinos. At the same time, Blutrich was a partner in a firm that, at least as a figurehead, included Mario Cuomo and also hired Andrew Cuomo as a clerk. Soon after opening the law office was bugged by the FBI. The equipment was removed but this just spurred the FBI to make warranted searches of Blutrich's home and the club looking for evidence that they were money laundering for the mob. As the relationship with the mob became more stressful Blutrich eventually agreed to allow surveillance equipment in the law office and club, and also agreed to wear a wire on several occasions. Eventually the feds were able to gain information that helped convict several members of the crime family on charges including conspiracy to commit murder and tax evasion. Blutrich and his partner were promised immunity and witness protection for wearing the wires and acting as witnesses. What they didn't count on were federal attorneys and judges in Florida who were determined to prosecute on the earlier insurance fraud problems. They maintained an attitude, far different from what New York prosecutors had done, that witnesses were simply criminals trying to save their own skins. As a result they nearly endangered the surveillance in New York several times. Blutrich and his partner signed on to a plea agreement for minor prison time, a few months to a year. The Florida judge ignored the recommended sentence normal on a plea deal and sentenced both Blutrich and his partner to fifteen years. They ended up serving 13 years, far longer than any of the people they helped put in prison in New York. Blutrich is a good storyteller, and includes lots of details, not just on the mob issues but on managing a "gentlemen's club". The club  eventually became a favorite haunt of Howard Stern, and his regular talk about the place brought in stars like Leonardo di Caprio and Charlie Sheen. There's plenty revealed about many of the raunchier parts of the business and the management headaches involved. There are also some pretty frightening moments when his being wired was nearly discovered, and he's very frank about using his known homosexuality to make body searches uncomfortable. In all, it's an often funny book with plenty of tense moments and an interesting look at an odd slice of New York City history.

  8. 5 out of 5

    LindaJ^

    This memoir proves that sometimes real life is much stranger than fiction. The audio book was entertaining and disgusting. It is sometimes humorous. Until the end, it mostly reads like a thriller. Michael Blutrich was one of the owners of Scores, a "gentlemen's club" at 333 E.60th Street in NYC, which is apparently still operating. Scores offered expensive drinks, numerous big screens to watch all sorts of sports, topless dancers, and lap dances. It clientele during the week were lawyers, bankers This memoir proves that sometimes real life is much stranger than fiction. The audio book was entertaining and disgusting. It is sometimes humorous. Until the end, it mostly reads like a thriller. Michael Blutrich was one of the owners of Scores, a "gentlemen's club" at 333 E.60th Street in NYC, which is apparently still operating. Scores offered expensive drinks, numerous big screens to watch all sorts of sports, topless dancers, and lap dances. It clientele during the week were lawyers, bankers, investment bankers, and others who came to Scores in their suits and carrying their briefcases. Blutrich was also a successful lawyer, a name partner in a firm where Andrew Cuomo was a partner in the late 1980's. He was also an FBI informant and a convicted criminal. In the book, Blutrich describes how Scores came into existence and how it came under "mob protection." He tells how he and his partner in Scores became FBI informants. He describes wearing a wire (including how it was put on him) to numerous meetings with members of the mob. A few times while wearing the wire he was searched, the first requiring him to remove his shirt (he had not yet attached the microphones to his chest) and the second including an attempt to pat his leg that he countered by grabbing the patter's crotch. He ended up providing the feds with evidence that helped them get people in the mob to testify against the higher ups. He also provided valuable evidence against mobsters in strip club business in Atlanta. While not a member of the mob, Blutrich was not just someone who had to pay for mob protection or face the consequences. He was a criminal in his own right. He helped three men commit insurance fraud that resulted in thousands of people being bilked out of money in Florida. He became an informant in that case as well. He doesn't explain what his Florida insurance problem is until near the end of the book. In convincing him to become an informant, the NY feds told Blutrich that they would get his Florida sentencing transferred to NY - they were 99.9% sure they could get it done - and at most he would have to spend only a year in jail and not until after all the prosecutions against those he had informed on were over. They also promised he would be put into the federal witness protection program. Well none of that happened. Instead Blutrich spent 13 years in prison. He wrote this book after his release in 2014 or 15. He appeared on 60 Minutes in 2015, along with a couple of the FBI guys and the ex Florida assistant US attorney who worked to get him jail time, while the prosecutors in NY, Atlanta, and Del advocated that he receive no additional jail time, given how dangerous what he had done for them was. Sounds like an exciting tale right? And it was. But what was not exciting and was rather disgusting was his depiction of what went on at Scores.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    4.5 - Reading like a sequel to The Sopranos, I'd wager that even the most creative of writers would struggle to come up with half of the crazy and unbelievable encounters that Michael Blutrich had with the New York City mafia during the 1990s. The really crazy part? It's all true. In this juicy tell-all, Blutrich explains how a gay, Jewish, Park Avenue lawyer came to own "NYC's hottest strip club," how the Gambino family involved itself from the get-go (hint: extortion), and finally, how he becam 4.5 - Reading like a sequel to The Sopranos, I'd wager that even the most creative of writers would struggle to come up with half of the crazy and unbelievable encounters that Michael Blutrich had with the New York City mafia during the 1990s. The really crazy part? It's all true. In this juicy tell-all, Blutrich explains how a gay, Jewish, Park Avenue lawyer came to own "NYC's hottest strip club," how the Gambino family involved itself from the get-go (hint: extortion), and finally, how he became the FBI informant responsible for bringing down dozens of mobsters. Adding to the scintillating details of Blutrich's story are hilarious anecdotal stories about some of his more creative improvisations, countless celebrity encounters, and an insider's look at the nefarious workings of a modern mafia. If a cat has nine lives, I have to wonder how many Blutrich has. How he has managed not to get "whacked" by an avenging mafioso defies understanding.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vojtech

    It's a glimpse into a really strange world and I really enjoyed being along for the ride. Mafiosos, big bucks, strippers, coke, celebs - it's all in there. The voice acting in the audiobook is really good, too and the stories are funny. Also amazing to learn how the US government treated those gentlemen after all the immeasurable risks they have undertaken for them. Maybe there's more to this story that Mr. Blutrich isn't sharing with us, but I still found it mind blowing. All in all certainly a It's a glimpse into a really strange world and I really enjoyed being along for the ride. Mafiosos, big bucks, strippers, coke, celebs - it's all in there. The voice acting in the audiobook is really good, too and the stories are funny. Also amazing to learn how the US government treated those gentlemen after all the immeasurable risks they have undertaken for them. Maybe there's more to this story that Mr. Blutrich isn't sharing with us, but I still found it mind blowing. All in all certainly a good way to make a couple of runs or a flight more pleasant, but don't expect to gain much from this book aside from entertainment.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tara Scott

    I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, thought I felt like I was covered in a thin layer of film and dirt as I listened to it (maybe because it was about a strip club or maybe it was his NY accent). The book opens with the author commenting about how it took all the shenanigans mentioned in the book to make him realize that life is really about the people you care about and those that care about you. To this I say: DUH. But that is a good indication of the quality of person you are abo I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, thought I felt like I was covered in a thin layer of film and dirt as I listened to it (maybe because it was about a strip club or maybe it was his NY accent). The book opens with the author commenting about how it took all the shenanigans mentioned in the book to make him realize that life is really about the people you care about and those that care about you. To this I say: DUH. But that is a good indication of the quality of person you are about to learn about in the book. Funny at times, sad at times, and mostly infuriating for stupidity, this book surely is unique and at the very least an interesting read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Charlene

    Compulsively readable. One of the best biographies I have read. I didn't even care when I could tell I was blatantly being lied to and managed by Blutrich, when he was defending his own actions. Blutrich, himself, narrated the audio version, which made a great story even better. Hard to put down. I started to write details about the book in my review, but then deleted all of it. I don't want to spoil it. If you want to be entertained, this is the book for you!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    I agree with Anderson Cooper's review at the top of the cover of the book: "A fascinating, funny, and at times, frightening tale of strippers, money, and the mob...." I remember Scores vividly from the 1990's. It was a star-filled club, in the gossip columns every day, and impossible to get into. Howard Stern talked about it every day on his radio and television programs and he paraded a constant array of Scores entertainers-some of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. This book grabbed me, w I agree with Anderson Cooper's review at the top of the cover of the book: "A fascinating, funny, and at times, frightening tale of strippers, money, and the mob...." I remember Scores vividly from the 1990's. It was a star-filled club, in the gossip columns every day, and impossible to get into. Howard Stern talked about it every day on his radio and television programs and he paraded a constant array of Scores entertainers-some of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. This book grabbed me, which is unusual, from the very first page and never let go. It was exciting, scary, funny as any book I've ever read, and shocking at it's conclusion. The voice of the narrator-author was a driving force, compelling me to continue reading. A five star rating was never in doubt. It is almost impossible to believe that it is a true story and, as I was laughing one minute, and feeling horrified the next, I kept thinking someone is going to make this into a fantastic movie. It is truly a book for everyone, and not just for aficionados of mob tales. I received an advance copy of the book from the publisher.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Barry Cohen

    I would rate this book a 10 if it were possible. This book is fantastic, one of the best books that I have ever read. It's a fast-paced page turner, it took me less than three days to finish. "Scores" is very well written and I love the author's self-deprecating humor. I found it hard to believe that this was a true story. I researched the background and found that, not only was it all true, but most of the names mentioned were real as well. I am originally from Brooklyn and was in my 40's when th I would rate this book a 10 if it were possible. This book is fantastic, one of the best books that I have ever read. It's a fast-paced page turner, it took me less than three days to finish. "Scores" is very well written and I love the author's self-deprecating humor. I found it hard to believe that this was a true story. I researched the background and found that, not only was it all true, but most of the names mentioned were real as well. I am originally from Brooklyn and was in my 40's when this all took place, so I recognized most of the names and places. I am still amazed that a "Nebish" from my hometown was able to pull off what he did. Unfortunately the Government didn't uphold their part. What is even more unbelievable is that after all that Mr. Blutrich went through, every investor in the Florida case was made whole again. This information was furnished by the attorney for the Receiver.

  15. 5 out of 5

    William McGrath

    The immortal words of Don Vito Corleone, "I'm going to make him an offer he cannot refuse" ring ever true throughout the pages of this supremely fascinating tome. Scores has a distinct writing style and voice among the myriad of "Mob Life" narratives. Michael Blutrich lived a life of making deals, both legal and not, but the deal he makes with the reader is this - conversation. This unique chronicle of New York High Life reads more like one is having an intimate conversation with Blutrich - at t The immortal words of Don Vito Corleone, "I'm going to make him an offer he cannot refuse" ring ever true throughout the pages of this supremely fascinating tome. Scores has a distinct writing style and voice among the myriad of "Mob Life" narratives. Michael Blutrich lived a life of making deals, both legal and not, but the deal he makes with the reader is this - conversation. This unique chronicle of New York High Life reads more like one is having an intimate conversation with Blutrich - at times surreal, funny, terrifying, and engaging - though a conversation none the less. It reads like a conversation among old friends, perhaps over a bottle of the good stuff he kept behind the counter of one of New York's most infamous night spots (certainly since the days of Studio 54), and unfolds in a dramatic, engaging, and - dare I say - endearing way. Mr. Blutrich's rich exposé has all the makings of a Netflix miniseries.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brian Rothschild

    I can not begin to tell you how much I enjoyed reading this book! It grabbed me from the first chapter and I read it on my commute to and from work. It was hard to put down every time my train pulled into its station. It amazes me what an intriguing life some people live while others just get to experience it through the eyes of those who have been to hell and back. Michael makes you feel like he is sitting on your couch next to you and just telling you his life story. At no point int he book ar I can not begin to tell you how much I enjoyed reading this book! It grabbed me from the first chapter and I read it on my commute to and from work. It was hard to put down every time my train pulled into its station. It amazes me what an intriguing life some people live while others just get to experience it through the eyes of those who have been to hell and back. Michael makes you feel like he is sitting on your couch next to you and just telling you his life story. At no point int he book are you bored or feeling anything but curiosity as to "what happened next?" I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves intrigue, Mafia, strip clubs, gays living in a straight culture, and/or having friends (which Michael feels like) who have led extraordinary lives!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jake DeForest

    I personally am not a book reader at all. However when I began reading this book I was completely hooked from start to finish. The "inside scoop" of the Hollywood stars alongside with the humor is enough to never put this book down. All and all it was an excellent book I highly recommend it to everyone!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marcella Wigg

    3.5 stars. This book is one of those junk-food reads. I found it difficult to put down. Regardless of your opinion on Blutrich's willingness to take responsibility for the seriousness of his financial crimes, Scores is eminently readable, the story of a lawyer with a previous association with Andrew Cuomo who creates New York's first "classy" topless establishment with lapdances, Scores, in 1991. The club gained the admiration of celebrities and some of the sleazier members of New York's social s 3.5 stars. This book is one of those junk-food reads. I found it difficult to put down. Regardless of your opinion on Blutrich's willingness to take responsibility for the seriousness of his financial crimes, Scores is eminently readable, the story of a lawyer with a previous association with Andrew Cuomo who creates New York's first "classy" topless establishment with lapdances, Scores, in 1991. The club gained the admiration of celebrities and some of the sleazier members of New York's social scene, including Donald Trump. It also attracted the attention of another group of sleazes, the Gambino crime family, who demanded that the club buy their "protection" (i.e. cut them into the profits) or risk endless problems from the Mob. Blutrich opted to work with the Gambinos rather than risk the hassle of having them sabotage his club. As time passed, he became increasingly intimate with various members of the Mob. Blutrich was also involved in a $400 million fraud scheme involving National Heritage Life Insurance that cost many people their life savings. With hefty charges hanging over his head for the role in that case, the FBI and Southern District of New York prosecutors offer his business partner and him the opportunity for a deal: turn informant on the Gambino crime family and get a potential reduction in your sentence, possibly avoiding prison altogether. Blutrich initially doesn't want to cooperate, believing that this will make him a marked man, but the "99.9%" prospect of avoiding jail time for wearing a wire is too compelling. And so, he records hours and hours of footage on the Gambinos, risking his safety to do so and avoiding repeated wire checks while wired, using the Mafiosi's homophobic machismo against them, since he is gay. The portions of the book on the Gambinos and wearing a wire are fascinating; it's impossible to relate to how one would keep calm under such pressure, when the discovery of a wire would mean immediate death. The book is dishy and gossipy and names names whenever possible (except, strangely, Blutrich's business partner, who had his name changed). Like an episode of the Sopranos, almost. And it may be that Blutrich did not get the treatment he deserved as a highly valuable informant in the cases against many in the Gambino family. But he does minimize his crimes somewhat, claiming that he was unaware of many of the charges because he wasn't involved in them. He has an extremely valid point about the hypocrisy with which white-collar criminals are treated (read The Divide if you want to fume about the rage-inducing failure of the Justice Department to prosecute the vast majority of serious law-breaking corruption that contributed to the 2008 Financial Crisis), and he did do something extremely important for the Justice Department and still got a thirteen-year sentence, but it would be nice if he would have owned the crimes of which he was convicted a little more. Still, I enjoyed the overall narrative, which was at times humorous, often gossipy, and also had quite interesting information.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Dalton

    EDIT....after reading this book and loving it, I decided to do some reading about Mr. Blutrich. It would seem his involvement in the defrauding of many people in Florida was much much worse than he admits. But much worse than that...he apparently pled guilty to "disorderly conduct" after being caught with a 17 year old boy he developed a relationship with at the YMCA, and he pled guilty to downloading about 30 images of minors engaged in sex acts. Was that the reason he spent so much time in iso EDIT....after reading this book and loving it, I decided to do some reading about Mr. Blutrich. It would seem his involvement in the defrauding of many people in Florida was much much worse than he admits. But much worse than that...he apparently pled guilty to "disorderly conduct" after being caught with a 17 year old boy he developed a relationship with at the YMCA, and he pled guilty to downloading about 30 images of minors engaged in sex acts. Was that the reason he spent so much time in isolation while imprisoned? I'll let my original review stand...I really enjoyed the book while I read it. But now that I know more about Blutrich, I feel conned. I very much suspect he's a total sack of shit that deserves zero credibility. Here's my original uninformed review, which basically proves I'm gonna be one of those old ladies that falls for scams left and right later in life: There is something extremely likable about Blutrich and the way he tells his own shocking story. He's funny, sweet, obviously incredibly smart...and prone to periodically making disastrous decisions that make for great stories. Luckily, he seems able to use his wits, humor and intelligence to solve many of his problems. (Otherwise, he'd be dead by now.) It is impossible to read this and not root for Blutrich, and to be outraged at his treatment by the FBI and the justice system. In fact, this book seems like a big F.U. to the justice system that screwed him over. He ends up making mobsters seem more fair and straightforward than the prosecutors and judges who ultimately failed him. As a reader, I don't doubt for a minute that everything he said is true. Of course, I have the distinct feeling that Blutrich could have told a much richer tale, had he been so inclined to reveal the true seediness of his life. But as it stood, the book is a really eye opening tale of how inept FBI investigators can be and how dangerous the life of an informant really is. The people who decide to help investigators from the inside are truly risking their lives, and they have no one but themselves to depend upon. I left this book truly worried about Blutrich...not because he's an obvious hit target from the mob, but because he's spoken so badly about major players in the justice system. I am not sure the truth will set him free, now that he's finally out of jail. It wouldn't surprise in the slightest if the next bit of news I read about Blutrich is that he's being sued in civil court by one of the many he's named as a player in this case. It's truly amazing that a story like this can happen in real life. I wish Blutrich the best in his future endeavors, and I eagerly await the next book. I want to know what happened after he got his bus ticket.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ethan Nicholls

    Scores 3.5/5 Stars. Scores was one of the biggest surprises I had of this year so far. It sat in my Audible library for a long time, as I was chipping away at the first third of the book. I didn’t have much confidence that it would really get rolling, and I went through the debate of removing it or not. However, at a certain point, once Blutrich (self-narrated) starts to discuss the club being built and operated, I was hooked, and I blew through the rest of the book in a week or less. This was d Scores 3.5/5 Stars. Scores was one of the biggest surprises I had of this year so far. It sat in my Audible library for a long time, as I was chipping away at the first third of the book. I didn’t have much confidence that it would really get rolling, and I went through the debate of removing it or not. However, at a certain point, once Blutrich (self-narrated) starts to discuss the club being built and operated, I was hooked, and I blew through the rest of the book in a week or less. This was definitely a (virtual) page turner, and kept me interested to what would happen to everyone until the bitter end. This book doesn’t have a higher rating for a couple of reasons. One is that the book at times seemed braggy. I get it, you were rich and living an exciting life, but why do you need to keep reminding us? However, after a few inklings of this, he seemed to have gotten it out of his system and focused more on the storytelling, which was a redeeming quality. This is when I really got to enjoy the middle of the book, Blutrich seeming to just want to have a conversation with the reader about his experiences, wanting to share what happened. That’s something I can respect; it was a very pure way of telling a story (of very unpure nature). Another reason this review doesn’t give a higher score is from the same information Randal White talks about in his review on this site. The Florida insurance fraud charges that Blutrich faced were much more severe than he let on. Over 26,000 people were affected and almost half a billion dollars was stolen. Fraud on that scale should definitely go punished, even with FBI cooperation. His cohort in that scheme apparently got over 800 years of jail time, so Blutrich was certainly lucky to make away like he did, with time served of only 13 years. (You’d thinking perpetrators of the housing bubble would get extreme sentences like this?) At the end of the day, this book exceeded my expectations. The writing was fluid and easy to understand, and I could definitely feel the voice of the author through the words chosen. It was a great ride and glimpse into the lives of the people involved in Scores, and I’m glad to have learned about it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    A gay man who created New York’s most notorious Strip club . . . an anxious, anything-but-hardboiled lawyer who became one of the most successful undercover mob informants in history. . . . In this hilarious and fascinating account, Michael Blutrich takes you inside star-studded 1990s New York, mafia sit-downs, and the witness protection program. Meet Michael D. Blutrich, founder of Scores, the hottest strip club in New York history. A resourceful lawyer at one of the city’s most respected firms, A gay man who created New York’s most notorious Strip club . . . an anxious, anything-but-hardboiled lawyer who became one of the most successful undercover mob informants in history. . . . In this hilarious and fascinating account, Michael Blutrich takes you inside star-studded 1990s New York, mafia sit-downs, and the witness protection program. Meet Michael D. Blutrich, founder of Scores, the hottest strip club in New York history. A resourceful lawyer at one of the city’s most respected firms, Blutrich fell into the skin trade almost by accident, but it was his legal savvy that made Scores the first club in Manhattan to feature lap dances and enabled him to neatly sidestep a law requiring dancers to wear pasties by instead covering their nipples with latex paint. Soon Scores, the club Howard Stern called “like being in a candy shop,” was a home away from home for everyone from sports superstars and Oscar-winning actors to pop singers and political notables alike. The catch? The club was smack dab in John Gotti’s territory, and the mafia wanted a piece of the action. The Gambino family doesn’t take no for an answer . . . and neither, as it turns out, does the FBI. In his memoir, Blutrich recounts in detail how his beloved club became a hub for the mafia, and how he found himself caught up in an FBI investigation, sorely struggling to juggle roles of business owner and undercover spy. As his life spiraled out of control, Blutrich would face the loss of almost everything dear to him. But whether marching a line of topless strippers as human exhibits into a trial to save the club’s liquor license or wearing wires to meetings with armed gangsters, he never lost his sense of humor or his nerve. In Scores, Blutrich finally tells all—from triumph to betrayal—in his own funny, self-deprecating voice.

  22. 5 out of 5

    James Shaw Jr.

    Great book. It's a light read but a good one. I listened to it as an audio book read by the author himself, which enhanced the experience because, when he would quote something that someone else said, you know that you're listening to someone who was actually there and that he's duplicating the vocal inflections and accents that actually occurred. Books about organized crime are *never* boring, but this one is special. Though the author never articulates it, there's a bit of a background narrati Great book. It's a light read but a good one. I listened to it as an audio book read by the author himself, which enhanced the experience because, when he would quote something that someone else said, you know that you're listening to someone who was actually there and that he's duplicating the vocal inflections and accents that actually occurred. Books about organized crime are *never* boring, but this one is special. Though the author never articulates it, there's a bit of a background narrative happening about how the author himself was a brilliant lawyer with a Midas touch who nevertheless managed to ruin his entire life by getting involved with the wrong people and making some errors in judgment that led to him cooperating with prosecutors against the Mafia and not really getting much in return for it. There's this strange pride in his voice when he talks about all of the different ways he outwitted organized criminals, as if he had gotten into the habit of considering himself part of the team of prosecutors who were closing in on a band of elusive criminals, interrupted by flashes of sobriety where he remembered that he was one of those criminals himself and foolishly risking his life in hopes of rewards that might not (and ultimately didn't) come. It's a great book about a significant legal event that I confess I knew nothing about. Highly recommended, particularly for lawyers. Also solidified for me my decision not to practice criminal law.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    It's an interesting read, but it gets a little too whiny (especially at the end). This is particularly true if you look into the author on even a cursory basis. He really deserved what he got, and worse, and there's really no getting around that. The fact he cooperated in the hope of leniency doesn't really make him a convincing victim when they decide to sentence him based on his crimes anyway. The whole thing just kinda comes across as a pity party in the end. This is kind of unfortunate, sinc It's an interesting read, but it gets a little too whiny (especially at the end). This is particularly true if you look into the author on even a cursory basis. He really deserved what he got, and worse, and there's really no getting around that. The fact he cooperated in the hope of leniency doesn't really make him a convincing victim when they decide to sentence him based on his crimes anyway. The whole thing just kinda comes across as a pity party in the end. This is kind of unfortunate, since it was actually a pretty strong and compelling read until he beat the dead horse a bit too heavily. This is an author who clearly never heard of the concept of laying out the facts and letting the reader reach their own conclusion. That said, I did like the details about opening the club especially, the legal issues it navigated, and what methods they used to make it a success. It was heading on the path toward being a solid four star book, before it floundered a bit. It's well worth the read if the premise sounds interesting to you though.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This book was incredibly interesting and very well-written. I was torn on how many stars to give it because the main character is, first and foremost, a criminal. He does not really paint himself this way in the book, but he committed massive insurance fraud. The book is about his informing on the mafia to the FBI and he skates over the crimes he committed in Florida that gave the FBI the leverage to turn him. Despite my misgivings about Blutrich, I found myself rooting for him as he met with mob This book was incredibly interesting and very well-written. I was torn on how many stars to give it because the main character is, first and foremost, a criminal. He does not really paint himself this way in the book, but he committed massive insurance fraud. The book is about his informing on the mafia to the FBI and he skates over the crimes he committed in Florida that gave the FBI the leverage to turn him. Despite my misgivings about Blutrich, I found myself rooting for him as he met with mobsters and navigated the world of OC. At the end of the book, he spends a lot of time complaining about his sentencing. I think he could have cut that down and just given the facts and I would have left this as a 5-star review. He is a good story-teller and I particularly enjoyed all of the behind-the-scenes looks at Scores that didn't necessarily have anything to do with being an FBI informant, but really added to the book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    4.25/5 This was absolutely fascinating. What you see in the description is what you get, pretty much, and it's great. The author recounts his misadventures with the mafia and his various close calls when trying to catch them saying incriminating stuff while wearing a recording device. This read more like an action book than a non-fiction at times. I highly recommend it. My favorite part of the book was about the time when Leonardo di Caprio inadvertently saved the author's life. The book was narra 4.25/5 This was absolutely fascinating. What you see in the description is what you get, pretty much, and it's great. The author recounts his misadventures with the mafia and his various close calls when trying to catch them saying incriminating stuff while wearing a recording device. This read more like an action book than a non-fiction at times. I highly recommend it. My favorite part of the book was about the time when Leonardo di Caprio inadvertently saved the author's life. The book was narrated by the author, in a very conversational and fun way. The only gripe I had was with the structure of the book, which made it sometimes hard to follow when it jumped between scenes and times. But otherwise, very fantastic non-fiction read. What an interesting guy.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Vince Cooper

    Where does Scores rank among all the books you’ve read? This one is right near the top, maybe not in the Top 5, but probably in the Top 10. Who was your favorite character and why? Michael Blutrich considering the book is about him and his experiences Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you? Wasn't really moved by any parts of the book, but did enjoy several moments. If I had to pick a favorite portion, it would be (SPOILER ALERT: but won't ruin the book for you) when Blutrich Where does Scores rank among all the books you’ve read? This one is right near the top, maybe not in the Top 5, but probably in the Top 10. Who was your favorite character and why? Michael Blutrich considering the book is about him and his experiences Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you? Wasn't really moved by any parts of the book, but did enjoy several moments. If I had to pick a favorite portion, it would be (SPOILER ALERT: but won't ruin the book for you) when Blutrich was barely given leniency on his sentence and served longer jail time than people he got convicted through his efforts. It's not right, nor did he deserve it, but it's a glaring example of how unfair life can be.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Debby

    I am in the minority of reviewers who loved this book. I guess I've changed in my older years. I'm always intrigued about Mafia stories, so that's why I downloaded this book. The beginning was very slow for me, and I had high hopes it would pick up the pace once the story begins from the plans to build Scores. I realized that I wasn't interested in the sordid story. I couldn't focus on the narration-- thick New York accent and all. So, I'm returning it for a refund. Enjoy, the rest of "youse" gu I am in the minority of reviewers who loved this book. I guess I've changed in my older years. I'm always intrigued about Mafia stories, so that's why I downloaded this book. The beginning was very slow for me, and I had high hopes it would pick up the pace once the story begins from the plans to build Scores. I realized that I wasn't interested in the sordid story. I couldn't focus on the narration-- thick New York accent and all. So, I'm returning it for a refund. Enjoy, the rest of "youse" guys!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Sciarrino

    Incredibly interesting book. Would make an AMAZING movie! This is the story of a skilled lawyer, a former partner of Andrew Cuomo, who worked closely with Mario. It’s the story of how Scores was created, run, and how the mafia, a partner from the beginning, would run various scams within the club. It’s the story of the fall of this lawyer, who becomes an informant against the mob. A very successful one, but who was then stabbed in the back, not by those he ratted on, but by the government. Lots Incredibly interesting book. Would make an AMAZING movie! This is the story of a skilled lawyer, a former partner of Andrew Cuomo, who worked closely with Mario. It’s the story of how Scores was created, run, and how the mafia, a partner from the beginning, would run various scams within the club. It’s the story of the fall of this lawyer, who becomes an informant against the mob. A very successful one, but who was then stabbed in the back, not by those he ratted on, but by the government. Lots and lots of great stories.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hope

    A Book of True Crime This book is exactly what you would expect and the plot is pretty much all in the title. Very well written and gives lots of insight into a world different from my own. This is definitely one of the better books in the genre. (Also a very convincing tale to encourage anyone to stay away from business with the mafia).

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sagiv Hadaya

    Fantastic true story and amazing narration. The story itself is unbelievable and Michael gives a great rundown and background to the opening of scores itself. then comes the Mafia and the need for informants, which makes the story and the whole interaction even crazier.

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