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Monday, June 24, 2024 | Back issues
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Customer Says Strip Club Shook Him Down

ANACAPA, Calif. (CA) - Seventy-four thousand dollars is too stiff a credit-card bill for a few visits to a strip club, a man claims in a lawsuit against Spearmint Rhino, which calls itself a "gentlemen's club."

Jerry Forewright sued Spearmint Rhino Consulting Worldwide and Bank of America in Santa Barbara County Court, claiming they drained his account of more than $74,000 after he visited the Spearmint Rhino in Santa Barbara on just "a few occasions between Sept. 10 and Oct. 5, 2014."

The Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen's Club advertises itself online as the world leader in adult entertainment, with the "finest food and beverages, attentive management, unmatched interiors, superb entertainment and shows including adult film stars." It has 16 U.S. outlets, half of them in California, and a half dozen more clubs in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Forewright claims that "(s)oon after visiting the Spearmint Establishment, and upon review of his online banking statements, plaintiff discovered a number of transactions which he believed were mistaken."

And then some, he says in the Nov. 20 lawsuit. The Santa Barbara club says on its website that admission costs $5 to $20, and drinks are $5. Lap dances range from $20 for a quick dance, to $300 or more for 30 minutes of privacy. That's not cheap, but it would take 20 hours of lap dances at $10 a minute to tote up a $74,000 bill.

Forewright says he handed an employee his card and never realized what was being charged on it.

"The signatures on the card transaction receipts varied dramatically," he says in the complaint.

Forewright says he contacted Bank of America to investigate the charges and requested a correction to his statement. He was issued temporary credits, but on Nov. 3, 2014 he received a letter saying the charges had been validated and the temporary credits were reversed.

Forewright wants his $74,771 back, plus damages, treble damages and punitive damages for intentional, negligent and fraudulent concealment, from the strip club, and negligence from the bank.

He is represented by Kevin Mauseth, with Bright & Powell, of Carpinteria, who said he could not comment without talking to his client beforehand.

The Spearmint Rhino club in Santa Barbara did not respond to emails or phone calls.

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