News and Press Releases

Club Velvet owner, Sam Moore Sentenced to 6 ½ years for Tax Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. – Samuel J.T. Moore, III, 47, of Richmond, Virginia, was sentenced today to 78 months’ imprisonment, and was ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $250,000.

Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Rebecca Sparkman, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation’s Washington, D.C., Field Office, made the announcement after the sentencing by United States District Judge Robert E. Payne.

“Mr. Moore raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars in unreported cash by exploiting women at his strip club, which included levying fines, quotas, and fees on the exotic dancers working for him,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Instead of paying his taxes, he hid the excess cash he earned from his dancers and customers.  He used it to buy expensive clothes, party, invest in stocks and real estate, and pay other personal expenses.  And once he was caught, he continued to manipulate these women by threatening or attempting to pay off any dancers who testified at his trial.  Today’s sentence is a just price for a man who treated women as sex objects for his own greed and did everything he could to steal from the federal government and avoid any punishment.”

            On October 6, 2010, Moore was charged in a three-count Superseding Indictment with Making and Subscribing False Income Tax Returns for the 2005 and 2006 calendar years, (Counts One and Two), and Tax Evasion for the 2007 calendar year (Count Three).  On February 17, 2011, after more than one week of trial proceedings, Moore was convicted by a jury on all three counts. 

            According to court records and evidence at trial, Moore willfully concealed Club Velvet’s true gross income from his accountant for years.  Moore provided daily false records to his accountant that omitted substantial cash income received from lap dances and fines, among other things.  Moore’s accountant, in turn, unwittingly relied on the false information in preparing the defendant’s tax returns.  In operating Club Velvet, however, Moore religiously maintained meticulous handwritten records that accounted for the true income received from lap dances and fines, among other things, though he did not tell his accountant about this second set of records.  Moore filled three ATMs that he owned in Club Velvet with some of the unreported cash income.

As a result of the Moore’s willful and calculated evasion activities, he filed
false tax returns for 2005 and 2006, which significantly understated the total income that Club Velvet received. For 2007, Moore provided similarly false income records to his accountant, but failed to file a tax return.  As a result, he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the United States. 

At trial, evidence surfaced that, during the government’s grand jury investigation and in the weeks leading up to trial, Moore intimidated and pressured a former employee of Club Velvet not to cooperate with federal investigators and tried to persuade her to lie in the grand jury and at trial.  Moreover, a roadside assistance worker who was unconnected to the case contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office and testified that another former dancer and her companion told him that they were getting paid for her to testify on Moore’s behalf.  Thereafter, the district court detained Moore and revoked his bond mid-trial for tampering with government and defense witnesses. 

           This case was investigated by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.  Assistant United States Attorney Michael R. Gill and Department of Justice Tax Division Trial Attorney Rebecca A. Perlmutter prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

More information about the Department of Justice’s Tax Division may be found at www.usdoj.gov/tax.

            A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.

 

 

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