Tax evasion trial begins for Sam Moore

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The jury trial for former Shockoe Bottom strip club owner Sam Moore began Monday morning.

Moore is accused of two counts making false tax returns and one count of tax evasion by the federal government.

Back in November, his attorneys sought to throw out evidence seized during a raid on Club Velvet.

This case comes down to whether the jury believes Moore was cheating on his taxes in 2005-2007.

The government claims Moore knew about every dollar coming in to his club from cover charges, lap dances and fines he placed against his dancers. He ran Club Velvet for 10 years and shut it down club after he lost his liquor license in 2010.

According to assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Gill, the club was "rolling in money," yet Moore was not reporting his entire income to the government, cheating it out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Moore's defense attorney told jurors during opening arguments that the "government made a mistake" and got the numbers wrong. Moore's attorney's said he wasn't skimming money from Club Velvet and under-reporting, but that he had hundreds of thousands of dollars on hand already. They said he inherited the money from his father, Sam Moore II, when he died of a heart attack in 1989.

A jury of seven men and seven women were selected this morning and will decide the case. If convicted, Moore faces up to 11 years in prison. The trial is expected to last all week.

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