Former owner of bankrupt Milford strip club cashed checks from notorious mobster


The federal government says Joseph Regensburger has some explaining to do.

As Regensburger, the former president of a Milford strip club, asks an appeals court to overturn a judgment ordering him to pay former employees $113,650, a Department of Justice accused Regensburger of cashing more than $100,000 in checks, with at least a few of those checks linked to Gus Curcio Sr., a notorious mobster.

Regensburger declined to comment on Wednesday when reached by phone, as did a lawyer who represents Curcio.

The revelation comes in Federal Court filings relating to Regensburger, who ran the Keepers Gentlemen’s Club on Woodmont Road when he lost a lawsuit by six exotic dancers saying they weren’t being paid minimum wage or overtime .


The defendants had argued that the dancers were independent contractors, like hairdressers, and were not entitled to benefits enjoyed by full-time employees.

The club and Regensburger have appealed the case. Oral arguments are scheduled for Thursday in Hartford in state appeals court.

While that process was unfolding, Regensburger also filed for bankruptcy protection in federal court, where he said in paperwork that he could not afford an attorney to represent him.

But according to Kenneth Krayeske, the dancers’ attorney, the bank documents he subpoenaed appear to show Regensburger cashed thousands of dollars in checks signed by Curcio, a notorious former gangster involved with the club, from a company with limited liability that he controls.

In a Monday filing in that case, Holley L. Claiborne, a Justice Department attorney who represents the U.S. trustee in the Regensburger bankruptcy case, drew attention to the cashed checks — and the the fact that Regensburger did not declare any part of the money. in his bankruptcy papers.

“These checks and the use of the money must be explained by the debtor,” Claiborne wrote in the filing, who asked a judge for an extension of the case to gather more evidence in the case “and to investigate further.”

At a Tuesday hearing in the bankruptcy case, Krayeske cited the checks while asking Judge Julie Manning to let him question attorneys representing Keepers and Curcio. In opposing Krayeske’s request, the attorneys – Stephen Bellis and Jonathan Klein – said Krayeske was leading a legal fishing expedition to obtain information protected by solicitor-client privilege.

The judge asked the lawyers to file further documents outlining their positions and continued the hearing until March 8.

The pleadings of the Court of Appeal are scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m.

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