Charges Filed Against Seven Prince George's Nightclubs
The operators are accused of illegally serving alcohol, offering strip shows, and failing to collect taxes.
State and county officials announced Tuesday that criminal charges have been filed against seven "illegal nightclub operations" across Prince George's County, including one in Bladensburg.
Authorities said surveillance conducted by the Maryland State Police and Prince George's County Police showed the clubs serving alcohol, offering strip shows, and failing to collect taxes in violation of numerous state and local laws.
In a statement, Comptroller Peter Franchot said the operators had evaded some $700,000 in taxes by "thumb[ing] their nose at the state."
"I promise that we will continue to vigorously pursue, investigate and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law," he added.
The affected nightclubs include Crossroads in Bladensburg; De La Swan Event Atrium on Ardwick Ardmore Road; Plaza 23 in Fort Washington; Black Amethyst in Temple Hills; CFE Club in Forestville; and Puzzles Event Center and Let’s Chat in Suitland.
Records seized on a search warrant—as well as police observations from June to October 2011—showed that the establishments had dodged entertainment, sales, and use taxes, officials said. Such violations are punishable by jail time and large fines.
Officials also said that none of the establishments were properly licensed to serve alcohol or operate as restaurants.
“We find that this is happening too often and we will not tolerate it any longer. If your business is not paying the required taxes and fees, we will catch you and you will be prosecuted," Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said in a statement.
Franchot and Alsobrooks announced the charges Tuesday in Upper Marlboro, joined by Prince George’s County Chief of Police Mark Magaw and Assistant State’s Attorney and Delegate Doyle Niemann.