A man at the center of a 2015 extortion case against the “part-owner of a well-known business” has named UFC President Dana White as the central figure and alleges he was wronged by the promoter in a new lawsuit.
The suit, filed this past Friday on behalf of Ernesto Joshua Ramos in Clark County (Nev.) District Court, alleges White and UFC attorneys broke a contract to compensate Ramos for signing a non-disclosure agreement that shielded the promoter and the UFC from potential financial losses and embarrassment months before the company was sold for over $4 billion. The UFC is named as a co-defendant in the suit.
Ramos, via attorney Ian Christopherson, alleges the NDA he signed was in exchange for pleading guilty to a single felony extortion charge, which prosecutors filed after he was caught accepting $200,000 for a video of White having sex with his girlfriend, an exotic dancer at the Spearmint Rhino club in Las Vegas. The girlfriend was not charged in the 2015 case.
“The actions of White were fraudulent, oppressive and designed to encourage Ramos to plead guilty so he could negotiate a substantial settlement, which would prevent the disclosure of his actions at trial for the personal benefit of White and his related businesses and interest,” the lawsuit states.
Ramos believed the agreement was worth up to $1 million during initial negotiations, but alleged he was offered $450,000 by White after the initial breach of the agreement in April 2016. But he alleges that during a mediation set up just three months before the UFC was sold, White reneged and offered nothing. The Las Vegas resident now seeks damages in excess of $65,000 on multiple breach of contract and good faith claims in addition to punitive damages.
“I just found out that a bullsh*t lawsuit was filed against me yesterday. This guy went to federal prison for trying to extort me over five years ago. Now he’s hired a lawyer who is also a convicted felon, and he’s trying to extort me again for $10 million. He got no money from me last time and he won’t be getting any money from me this time. I look forward to the court dismissing this quickly so I can get rid of these scumbags forever,” White said in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Prosectors indicted Ramos in October 2015 on a single felony count of use of a facility of interstate communication to promote extortion, which stemmed from text exchanges between Ramos and White during a three-month period ending in January 2015. As part of the plea agreement, the video featuring White and the dancer was destroyed.
Ramos, according to a federal complaint detailed by LVRJ, confronted White about having sex with his girlfriend and later sent a two-second video of them in the act. He threatened to tell the promoter’s wife and post embarrassing photos on Instagram.
The victim, named in the suit as White, engaged the FBI, which recorded Ramos telling the businessman his girlfriend “is a freak,” the LVRJ reported. The FBI then set up a sting and arrested Ramos after he accepted $200,000 from White.
The judge in the case agreed to a protective order – characterized by the LVRJ as “highly unusual” – that shielded the alleged victim’s identity. The victim was described in court documents as “a Las Vegas resident with two minor children” and “part-owner of a well-known business.” Ramos’ suit alleges it was the U.S. attorney’s office that sought to obscure White’s identity.
Ramos tried to reverse his guilty plea two months after he alleges White refused to pay him, but the judge denied his motion. He served 366 days in prison.
Ramos’ complaint alleges White contacted federal law enforcement to silence him by alleging he was trying to extort the UFC president.
White and UFC attorneys also told the feds he was a convicted felon on probation, a pimp, and a member of the Hells Angeles motorcycle gang. Ramos said they were actually referring to another person, Joshua Ramos.
Christopherson, who according to the LVRJ was convicted of tax evasion in 2012, alleges the extortion crime investigated by the FBI ignored “a potential self-reported” violation of the Mann Act, which is aimed at preventing sex trafficking.
”White and his attorneys succeeded in White being labeled a victim and having the FBI set up a sting/orchestrated payoff to Ramos for the tape,” the complaint states.
The criminal case kicked off after the businessman named by the prosecution paid an exotic dancer at the Spearmint Rhino $200,000 to dance and have sex with him in a private room. The businessman then flew the dancer to Brazil and she filmed a sexual encounter.
Ramos’ complaint calls his girlfriend’s work for White “entertainment” and notes the promoter paid her $5,000 prior to the trip and $10,000 after returning to the U.S., though only $8,000 made it into her pocket.
White and the UFC have not responded to the case in court.