Son Goes To A Stip Club With Dad's Credit Card, Ends Up With $53,000 Bill

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Tue, 2007-10-30 10:07.
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Two months after a recent college graduate incurred $53,000 in charges at a gentleman’s club on Okaloosa Island, investigators are reviewing allegations of fraud and larceny.

Tommy Salter, 24, of Warner Robbins, Ga., was at Club 10 early Aug. 18, celebrating his graduation from Georgia Tech, according to his father and an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s report.

Salter told Club 10 employees he could only spend $600, according the report.

But his dad, 52-year-old Joe Salter of Mary Esther, was shocked by the $53,000 charge that ended up on a joint American Express credit card account he shares with his son.

“Their employees totally took advantage of my son,” Salter said Saturday. “It’s totally ludicrous.”

The club’s co-owner called it “a huge champagne night.”

“Oftentimes, men come in here and they spend a lot of money in an effort to show off in front of the entertainers,” said Tim Beal. “And then they get buyer’s remorse.”

Club 10 employs women who also perform private dances, but Okaloosa County law prohibits full nudity.

Beal said Salter bought at least 19 bottles of champagne in a champagne room. The bottles can range from $150 to $2,000. He also said Salter bought “Club Cash,” Monopoly-like money used to tip waitresses.

But Joe Salter said 24 of the 30 receipts he received from American Express were printed after 4 a.m. — when the club should have been asking patrons to leave.

He said his son was kept at Club 10 until 8 a.m., when employees drove him home.

The last charge came at 7:54 a.m., he said.

He said Tommy had been drinking heavily before arriving at Club 10 and could have been an easy target for manipulation.

Allegations on an Oct. 12 sheriff‘s report include larceny over $20,000 and credit card fraud. They represent charges that could be filed if the case is pursued in criminal court.

Otherwise, it may end up in civil court.

But Beal said he’d already been in contact with American Express after Salter filed a chargeback with the company, seeking to have part of the charge withdrawn. The company decided in Club 10’s favor.

“We rarely ever lose chargeback attempts,” Beal said.

Club 10 policy prohibits running tabs in the champagne room, Beal said. Patrons must instead sign a receipt for each champagne purchase they make on credit. Beal called it a “straight sale” policy.

He said the younger Salter signed each receipt, even scrawling his initials next to the itemized charges.

But Joe Salter says only the signature on the first receipt matches his son’s signature; the rest are signed with scribbles.

He also said Tommy came home with bruises on his neck. He believes they came from club employees yanking him awake throughout the expensive morning.

In a letter to American Express, Beal wrote that Joseph Salter told him, “This is not the first time my son has done something like this,” and “My son gets out of control when he drinks.”

Salter called those statements false and said past credit card statements would prove that his son had never “done something like this” before.

When asked if a manager or any other employee considered refusing to keep accepting payments from Salter that night, Beal said Salter appeared to know what he was doing.

“This fellow was lucid,” Beal said. “He was actually dancing with the manager, Chris, right before he left.

“He was in the best mood.”

Beal said there are “many occasions” when employees would cut off customers from buying more alcohol, but this wasn’t one of those cases.

It’s unclear if security camera footage captured any or all of the transactions.

Still, Beal said he was willing to listen to the Salters’ case in a private meeting.

He estimated he might reconsider about $15,000 of the total bill, although Salter said meetings scheduled with the club’s owners had repeatedly been postponed or ultimately canceled.

The case is still under investigation as deputies await Tommy Salter’s statement, Joe Salter said. 

[Via - NFDailyNews.Com

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