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EPA fines owner of Nevada brothel

WASHINGTON—When it came to stripping, a famous Nevada brothel did it wrong and got slapped with a federal fine.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that it has fined the owner of the now-closed Mustang Ranch $23,000 for improper removal of asbestos.

The owner, Lance Gilman, allegedly erred while moving the pink ranch building seven miles east to a new site where he owned another brothel. Part of the old Mustang will be turned into a "kinetic museum" in the daytime, said Doug Lindeman, a documentary filmmaker who works with Gilman on archive material on the Mustang Ranch. At night, the museum will be rented out "for other purposes," Lindeman said.

The Mustang Ranch was Nevada's first legal bordello and in its heyday it made more than the $23,000 fine in a good hour, Lindeman said.

It's probably the first time that the federal environmental agency has fined a legal house of prostitution, EPA spokeswoman Laura Gentile said.

Gilman, who didn't respond to phone or e-mail requests for comments, bought the building in 2003 for $145,000 from another federal agency, the Bureau of Land Management. The bureau had taken it over after the Internal Revenue Service seized the Mustang over back taxes in 1999.

When Gilman bought the building, he agreed to remove its asbestos—which can cause severe lung damage—properly, Gentile said. He didn't, a tipster told federal regulators, who inspected the ranch and found asbestos in the ceiling and floor.

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(c) 2005, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

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