Mohammad Movassaghi, 42, leaves provincial court in Vancouver on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Mohammad Movassaghi, 42, leaves provincial court in Vancouver on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. suing COVID rule-breaker for money seized at makeshift penthouse nightclub

Civil claim alleges $8K found by police in Mohammad Movassaghi’s suite should be considered proceeds of crime

B.C.’s director of civil forfeiture is suing a Vancouver man who pleaded guilty to operating his penthouse like a makeshift nightclub in January, defying COVID-19 health orders.

A civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court Monday (May 31) alleges $8,740 seized by police at Mohammad Movassaghi’s apartment should be considered the proceeds of crime as it was used for unlawful activities “likely to cause serious bodily harm.”

By Jan. 31, social gatherings of any size were restricted at private residences to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the province amid a pandemic.

On that day, Vancouver Police obtained a search warrant of the 777 Richards St. apartment. Movassaghi was found inside with 77 guests, receipts for the purchase of large amounts of alcohol, a DJ station, bar and dance pole.

READ MORE: Owner denies accusations of hosting ‘nightclub’ in Vancouver apartment, files police complaint

Some guests associated with organized crime

Police also identified a number of people present who were associated with organized crime, court documents say. Police confiscated guest waivers that acknowledged the potentially deadly nature of COVID-19.

Each guest was ticketed $230. Movassaghi, himself, was fined nearly $2,500.

In April, the 42-year-old became the first person in B.C. sentenced for breaching orders under the Public Health Act when he was found having two guests over, violating his court-imposed conditions.

As a result, Movassaghi was handed one day in jail, a further $5,000 fine, 18 months probation and 50 hours of community service.

RELATED: Vancouver condo nightclub operator sentenced in court



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

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