By Ray Stern
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
Most of the money, which had been accumulated in Mexico, passed through a U.S.-based Edward Jones investment account before it was transferred to Naz. Manriquez's actual son, Mario de la Fuente Mix, was co-signer on the account.
When funds were not sent through the bank electronically, Manriquez usually would have a check sent via FedEx. Sometimes, Exotic sales manager Doug Allen would be forced to drive from Scottsdale to Manriquez's Tucson home to pick up money.
The runs to Tucson were "the most ridiculous thing ever," Allen later told a Phoenix police detective. "[Manriquez] would walk out in his bathrobe like Hugh Hefner, and he would hand me an envelope and say, 'Give this to Naz. Bye-bye.'"
Allen recalled holding the envelope up to the light a "couple of times" and seeing $200,000 or more.
As the years passed, Manriquez used his investments to refine his aging-hipster lifestyle, sometimes driving several kinds of luxury cars that he'd borrow from the dealership each week. He also stopped by the club from time to time.
Manriquez's money paid for Scorch Bar in 2004, and Upton was listed as owner. Scorch became a hit, with its giant lava lamps, glowing bar tops, a small dance floor, and adjacent bathrooms connected by windows in which partiers could watch members of the opposite sex primp at sinks.
Manriquez also funded a 49 percent ownership in a luxury-car showroom that opened in 2005 at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Casino patrons could pay $10 to see sparkling Bentleys, top-end Ford Mustangs, and low-slung Italian sports cars.
"Mario . . . saw his empire growing," Upton tells New Times.
But the venture couldn't last. Las Vegas police, in checking out the group's dealership application, found the arrangement so sketchy that they denied the majority owner, Richard Weisman, a license to continue operating unless he ditched his Arizona partners. The Vegas showroom folded a couple of years later.
Problems kept arising. In March, CBNC suffered a serious loss of clientele after the parking-lot shooting of former Arizona State University football player Brandon Falkner by ASU gridiron star Loren Wade.
Then, Naz and Jodi split — mostly, anyway — as a couple.
One big reason: Naz was cheating on Jodi with Katie Marie Peters, who enjoyed hanging out at the club.
Naz kicked Jodi out of the Troon home. She then bought a house in Phoenix with money she had earned from the sale of a classic 1933 Ford her father had given her, she says.
In late August 2005, Naz fired Upton's brothers, who had worked for CBNC for three years. Naz complained to Scottsdale police that they had threatened him. Jimmy Upton had called him to say, "Watch your back" and "I'm going to kill you," Naz told police. The pair had been implicated, but never charged, in a previous assault of a bar employee in the CBNC parking lot.
Naz told police he felt the men, whom he called "steroid monkeys," would burglarize his home and "burn his dealership down."
At some point that year, Naz asked Jodi to draw up papers that would transfer everything out of her name. She refused.
It was into this hornet's nest that Carol and Phaedra Boyce stepped in late 2005.
Carol Boyce is an accountant for several Valley businesses and partner at a virtual-office company. Her daughter, Phaedra, a fitness trainer and former bar manager, met Ara Derboghossian, Naz's brother, through her boyfriend. After the "personable" Derboghossian brothers found out that Carol and Phaedra had some money they wanted to invest in a nightclub, there were free stays in a VIP suite at the Hard Rock Café in Las Vegas. Phaedra even got to meet Swizz Beatz.
Naz urged the women to invest in the club, Carol Boyce says, promising that it would make $1 million profit in a year.
The Boyces made an offer in early 2006: They would pay Naz a $150,000 down payment on a planned total investment of $750,000, which would grant them 50 percent ownership in the club. After a year, they would have the option to do the same thing with Scorch.
Ara Derboghossian called the Boyces to let them know that Naz had agreed. He told them to meet him at the Mobil station at Tatum and Thunderbird on February 16 with $25,000 in cash and a $25,000 check.
Weird as it was, the Boyces played along. Ara showed up, took the money, then came back 40 minutes later with a contract signed by Naz.
"I didn't really know what to think," says Phaedra Boyce. "We knew nightclubs were a cash business . . . We were trusting."
A week later, Naz introduced the women to Jodi Upton, who informed them that she was the actual owner of CBNC. But more worrisome than the appearance of an unplanned partner was the club's nearly nonexistent accounting practices. Some employees were paid strictly in cash, Carol Boyce says, while others clearly were stealing from the bar. Cash registers stayed broken for unusually long periods. The club should have been making money. Instead, it was losing funds every month.
The silent partner the Boyces would never meet, Manriquez, apparently made no payments to CBNC at this time.
Interesting how the editor picks and chosses the comments and wants to keep or delete.. Enough said!
I did not at anytime receive any money for this article... Really... it's comical how you people think...
.She then bought a house in Phoenix with money she had earned from the sale of a classic 1933 Ford her father had given her?? Im sure that was stolen too.. lol Are you Serious Ray?? YOUR SOURCE (JODI) IS NOT VERY CREDIBLE HERE.. I WOULD BE ASHAMED TO WRITE SUCH AN ARTICLE KNOWING THE PAST SHE AND HER FAMILY HAD.. NAZ DOESNT HAVE A PAST LIKE THAT!
again dumb fuck.. ol salty.. NAZ OBVIOUSLY DIDNT HAVE A CRIME IN MIAMI.. GET YOUR STORY RIGHT! DAMN YOU ARE WORST THAN RAY STERN WITH YOUR LIES!!
Hey dumb ass ol salty.. get your facts staright.. naz and Ara have been LEGALLY IN THE STATES FOR 45 EFFING YES YOU MORAN!! Dont you think if they were illeagal they would have been deported by now? Maybe they need to start deporting dumb asses like yourself that think they know it all!! bahahahahahaha...
honestly i thought this spread was about a man .. rupaul looking mofucker.. someone get this bitch off the cover!!!!!!!!! dam!
Ray Stern, you said her hubby, that is short for husband, is it not? Didn't you write , when "her child was 2 she decided to leave her hubby" You also wrote she was a victim, she obviously did not tell you all of the story, she sold part of her bar to young man for 100,000, got the money,and then kicked him out of the business and walked away from it and sold it again, for 1.00 and all of the hundreds of thousand of dollars of debt, she did not let it go for a fake kidney surgury, you should of talked to the young man that gave her that money. How do you sell a business, recieve the cash, and not own it? She ripped him off, and he had no recourse, and tried to get his money back, to no avail. You should have done your homework, instead of letting her scam you, like she has everyone else.
A fantasy that rich people don't always spend their money according to capitalist wetdreams? or that Stern couldn't be bothered to have learned in HIGH SCHOOL that in 1955, Armenia was a Soviet Republic and folks were getting free passes to be taken in as political refugees for pretty much any reason from those countries - especially if they provided a debriefing to the CIA when they arrived here? I would have liked to see if there were any criminal records of Naz' family in Armenia.
Your so right Tomato, but this reporter, did not do his homework at all, she lied about so many things, she never had a husband, that's public record, did he check out any of her story at all, or just write . To let her hurt so many people in this story without checking it out, is terrible,
This is a joke, I have known this woman, and a long time.Shame on the New Times not checking out all of her lies. She was NEVER been married in her life, the story talks about her violent husband, they were crack addicts, and he died in a car wreck, she then moved here and lived in her car. She is a money hungry bitter bitch. She has not seen her 10 year old child since the day school let out. She left him with his father for the whole summer as she always does, yet she talks about him that way, seriously if that were true, would you leave him there, and never even see him until school starts? She has stolen, lied, and embezeled for years, she went to the state and told all these lies with the other creep Doug, about Mario and Naz, thinking she would get something, she got nothing but arrested. While she was in jail she let her children sleep in a garage on a mattress with another crack head friend, instead of with their grandmother. She is evil, and whoever took the pictures did a great job of touch up, as she on a daily basis looks like an ugly transvestite, seriously! I hope Mario, all the stars, and everyone else she lied about sue the paper, and she ends up back in jail, it is inevitable, she is just like her criminal father. She never needed a kidney operation, that was a scam to get 49,000, and she got it, and said it went away, because she ate raw food, what a disgrace, She even admits in the article her old boyfriend when she was young bought her boobs, but she doesn't give his name, as she is afraid, because he was a drug dealer, hopefully the next one she scams, is for mental help, she surely needs it. Shame on her, and shame n the New Times!
You have no idea wat ur talking about number 1 number 2 Upton stoled from Naz and his family and doing this spread shows u wats she's all about MONEY!
who is this bitch trying to look like and portray herself to be? Marilyn Monroe.. pathetic. sounds like to me somebody got a little mad over rejection and needs some money huh?! I just dont understand how someone involved in such a "case" is now writing some story to gain attention.. or maybe not get in trouble so shes whipping up a storm about other people?! This whole article sounds like some destitute woman trying to either not get in trouble for some crime she did , or just get attention and money.
Interesting story. I kept asking myself where the dirty money was coming from..... It appears Ms. Upton has learned well from her father, however. Seems the apple didn't fall far from the tree in this case.