Tech Billionaire Henry Nicholas, Friend Reach $1M Plea Deal in Las Vegas Drug Trafficking Case
Posted on: August 1, 2019, 11:08h.
Last updated on: August 1, 2019, 11:49h.
Henry Nicholas III, the tech billionaire founder of Broadcom, and his friend Ashley Christine Fargo won’t serve any time behind bars for their summer 2018 arrest when law enforcement found a variety of drugs in their Las Vegas Strip hotel room.
Wynn Encore security called Metro Police in August 2018 after discovering illegal narcotics in Nicholas and Fargo’s room. Both were later arrested and charged with five counts of trafficking a controlled substance and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.
Police say they confiscated nearly 96 grams of methamphetamine, 4.24 grams of heroin, 15.13 grams of cocaine, and 17.1 grams of the psychedelic psilocin. According to RehabCenter.net, the average cost of one gram of meth is $80. Heroin can cost up to $200 a gram.
This week, Nicholas and Fargo struck a deal with Clark County prosecutors and District Attorney Steven Wolfson that will allow them both to remain fee.
Get Out of Jail… Not for Free
Nicholas was represented by Las Vegas super lawyer David Chesnoff. A former law partner with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, Chesnoff is the go-to defense attorney for celebrities and the rich who have run-ins with the law while in Sin City.
Chesnoff has defended celebs including Michael Jackson’s estate, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Las Vegas mainstay David Copperfield. He’s also stood before the court alongside notable poker players including Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, and “King of Instagram” playboy Dan Bilzerian. He also recently represented Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox in his domestic violence case.
Chesnoff – along with Fargo’s attorney David Brown – was able to convince the court that Nicholas is anything but a drug trafficker.
By no stretch of the imagination would anyone consider Dr. Nicholas or Ms. Fargo to be traffickers distributing drugs into the community,” a joint statement from the attorneys read.
Both have accepted an Alford plea. Per the Cornell Law School, “An Alford plea registers a formal claim neither of guilt nor innocence toward charges brought against a defendant in criminal court. An Alford plea arrests the full process of criminal trial because the defendant – typically, only with the court’s permission – accepts all the ramifications of a guilty verdict.”
Under the plea, Nicholas and Fargo have agreed to each make $500,000 donations to a Las Vegas drug rehabilitation center, and perform 250 hours of community service.
In exchange for the donations and community service, prosecutors said they will drop the more serious drug trafficking charges – and the potential four years in prison sentence.
“This positive agreement allows them to help people grappling with addiction by providing substantial financial support to programs in Clark County for treatment and rehabilitation,” Chesnoff concluded.
Nicholas, worth an estimated $4.1 billion by Forbes, retired in 2003. Since then, he’s been an advocate for a victims’ rights law in honor of his sister who was murdered by her stalker ex-boyfriend in 1983.
Marsy’s Law – named after Marsy Nicholas – was approved in Nevada last November. The bill expanded the legal rights of victims and allows them to seek better protection against defendants. The law or similar pieces of legislation have been passed in seven other states.
Nicholas has also established his own foundation with a mission of improving the lives of youth through sports, education, technology, medical research, and victims’ rights.
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