ABC Board to decide Club Velvet's fate

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Drug deals, sex acts and illegal liquor sales...just some of the allegations made today against a controversial Shockoe Bottom night club.

Sam Moore's Club Velvet is fighting to keep its liquor license this week. The hearing wrapped up at about 5 p.m. and will continue tomorrow. It's the result of a nine month undercover investigation by two ABC agents. A male and female, who went to great lengths to find out what happens behind closed doors.

Always in the news for displaying controversial signs on the outside of the building, Club Velvet is now defending what goes on inside.

Two undercover agents testified they saw dancers having sex with each other, a dancer engaged in a sex act with a patron, underage dancers drinking, intoxicated and fully nude.

Former dancer Charlotte Cockrell admitted on the stand she was paid to have sex with another dancer. She also testified she drank and snorted a line of coke in front of club owner Sam Moore.

Cockrell was arrested and convicted of public nudity. Several felony drug charges were dropped in exchange for her testimony here today.

The undercover agents also say they witnessed a drug deal. They often visited the club with an undercover informant. The agents drank and had lap dances on several occasions as part of their investigation and on the night they paid $450 to watch a sex act, they also spent $1,000 on four bottles of champagne. They say those bottles were clearly purchased after hours and they were brought to the third floor of the club which is not licensed for alcohol.

Two former dancers testified, drinks were often brought to the third floor and there were no rules about alcohol in the club.

Sam Moore's attorneys will present his side of the case on Tuesday. They are trying to show that Moore did not directly know about any of the illegal activities and had policies against them in his club. If convicted, Club Velvet could lose its liquor license, have it suspended or face a fine.

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