I-Team: Strip club raided by police wants to reopen

LAS VEGAS -- A strip club shut down since a Metro Police raid says it can't reopen.

The I-Team found allegations some dancers may have drugged customers to pile up charges on their credit cards maybe behind the raid.

On Wednesday, Club Paradise asked a judge to order Metro to return money and property seized in the raid. The club says it is cooperating with the police investigation, but it hasn't been able to re-open because Metro seized computers containing essential business software.

Club Paradise has been closed since June 6, when Metro Police served search warrants there.

Nobody has been charged yet in the probe but the search warrant says police were looking for credit card information and commonly used date-rape drugs like GHB, ecstasy and rohypnol.

The implication is that some dancers may have drugged customers to rack up credit card charges, while the customers were in a stupor.

Lawyers for the club say the investigation is focused on a few, former employees but not the owners of the business.

“I'm not here to try and get suppression of anything. We want to cooperate with Metro. We just want to get re-opened,” attorney for Club Paradise Dominic Gentile said.

“There is also been an ongoing dialogue, since June, between Metro and Mr. Gentile about the computer and what was seized,” attorney for Metro Police Kathleen Bliss said.

Judge Bixler ordered Metro's information technology expert to work with the club's computer techs to get the lounge's business systems back on line.

But he gave Metro 10 days to respond the club's request that hardware and video seized in the raid be returned. The topless club estimates it has lost more than $645,000 during the shutdown.

Court documents allege at least five victims of fraud at the nightspot, including a former civilian employee of Metro Police.

 


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