Strip headliner Frank Marino accused of keeping money meant for sick children


It was three decades of wigs, makeup and Frank Marino.

He was one of the longest-running headliners on the Las Vegas Strip.

RELATED | Frank Marino's 'Divas Las Vegas' has ended

His 30 years of performing came to an abrupt end at the LINQ Hotel & Casino this past weekend, over accusations of mishandling charity money.

Sources familiar with the investigation told News 3 that Marino’s team was selling tickets and merchandise, claiming some of the money was going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Investigators say they want to know where the money went.

Make-a-Wish sent the following statement:

While we were very disappointed to learn about this situation, our understanding is that things will be made right. We are so grateful for the many corporations and individuals in our community who support our kids by helping us grant life-changing wishes. This situation will not deter us from our mission of helping as many children as possible.

Everyone associated with Marino's show is out of a job. While some may have known was happening, others did not.

Caesars Entertainment has released a statement:

“Caesars Entertainment holds itself to the highest standards and given the non-payment of donations to Make a Wish by Divas, we determined that a relationship with this show was no longer suitable. Upon discovering and fully investigating this issue, we immediately took all appropriate actions in response. Caesars enjoyed a long, mutually successful relationship with the Divas production team, which it hoped would have continued for many more years, and the show’s cancellation is due solely to these circumstances.”
- Caesars Entertainment spokesperson

The Nevada Gaming Control Board confirmed to News 3 the agency has launched its own investigation into the matter.

Statement from Frank Marino:

"As some are aware, I have historically given a portion of the proceeds from the sales of certain Divas Las Vegas merchandise to the Make a Wish Foundation as well as incorporating them into special events like my Celebrity Roast held at the Stratosphere Hotel in which all of the proceeds and donations were given to them personally.I’m saddened to say that due to my own negligence, Make a Wish has not received a check from me for sometime. I am personally embarrassed and ashamed. I take full responsibility and am sincerely apologetic for this situation.

I have confirmed the figure which I would have customarily donated to them from a percentage of my merchandise sales and have offered to substantially increase that many times over. Make a Wish is an important charity and my favorite in the world because it lifts the hearts and spirits of children desperately in need of joy, comfort, and compassion. I hope my mistake will not prevent others from donating generously to this organization and I pray that I will be able to work with them for many years to come.

Numerous other false allegations have been circulated, they are inaccurate; Divas agreed with Caesars to terminate the production which had been performed 7 days a week. I personally want to state that Caesars Entertainment and the Divas Las Vegas show has always maintaineda very positiveand professionalworking relationship. I also want to go on record and state that the last 8 years of performing at the LINQ Hotel has been nothing less than a wonderful and amazing experience for both myself and my cast. Caesars is a great organization and it was myhonor to provide the Divas Show at the LINQ for so many years."

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