RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – After eight days, a verdict is finally in in the trial of Sam Moore. The former Shockoe Bottom strip club owner was found guilty of tax evasion and filing false tax returns.
The jury got this case around 4 p.m. Tuesday. It met for five minutes, picked a fore person and then opted to go home for the day. This was an extremely complicated trial based on tax records and income sheets. There were six days of testimony and 200 exhibits, and it comes down to who's set of numbers you believe.
In the mid 2000's Club Velvet was making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. The government says Sam Moore lived and breathed the club, and knew about every dollar going in and out and cheated the government out of money.
They say he was underreporting his income, hiding how much money he was truly making off of cover charges, lap dances and fines he placed on dancers for breaking the rules.
The government also zeroed in on 3 ATM's in the club. $1.7 million passed through those machines in three years. The government says the money to fill those machines came from the club and was concealed from the IRS.
Defense attorneys told jurors at the federal courthouse, Moore poured hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money into the club. Money he got from inheritances when his mother and father died, from sales of antiques and from family property. His attorneys argued that Moore used his own money to fill those ATMs, and that is not a crime.
The jury will begin deliberations at 9:30 Wednesday morning. Jurors are deciding whether Sam Moore tried to avoid paying taxes in 2007, had two sets of books, gave his accountant false information or used club money to fill the ATMs. If convicted, Moore faces up to 11 years in prison.
Moore is accused of under-reporting almost $800,000 in income, shorting the IRS out of several hundred thousand dollars.