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Santa says he was stiffed by Las Vegas company

Turns to 13 Investigates for a little Christmas miracle
Posted at 4:37 PM, Feb 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 11:07:19-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Santa says he's been stiffed. A Las Vegas valley Santa Claus says he hasn't been paid for his time spent spreading cheer at downtown Las Vegas. 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears shows who's on Santa's naughty list.

"I've been doing Santa for maybe four, five years," said George Doty.

George loves playing Santa.

"Because when you put that outfit on, there's nothing better than saying; Ho Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas!" said George.

He says he was hired by Viva Vegas Showgirls and Entertainment to be Santa back on December 13, 14 and 15. These texts messages show instructions about security taking him to the right spot and his shift starting at 4 p.m.


"They said they would, in my text messages, they would pay me in cash on the third day," said George.

But he says that didn't happen. More than two months later he's still waiting to get paid.

"It would be $360 for the duties done and I think I got 18 hours. Three 6 hour shifts," said George.


13 Investigates reached out to Viva Vegas Showgirls. Some red flags were raised when we couldn't verify a state or city license. We also couldn't find a good address for the company.

We did manage to get Santa's boss via text message, but she refused to answer any of our questions.


George admits he never actually met anyone himself and set everything up by text.


"Individuals have to do their due diligence when you do business with anybody," said Rhonda Mettler with the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB says: always research any company looking to hire you and find out as much as you can.

"Meet in person. There's no harm in asking; where are you located? What is the full name of your company? Are you licensed?" said Rhonda.


And whether it's your first time with the company or you've worked with them before, get everything in writing.

"Get a contract. Find out all the terms; how much you're getting paid. The hours that you're supposed to work, etc," said Rhonda.

As for George, he wants others to learn from his story and says for him, it's ultimately not about the money.

"I can say this, when you're being Santa there is no shift and the timing just goes away. All you know is you're making people happy," said George.


If you're having trouble getting paid like George, be sure to file a complaint with Nevada's Labor Commissioner. They'll investigate complaints involving non-payment and other wage disputes.