Vancouver penthouse party host who made his own GoFundMe facing another charge
Mohammad Movassaghi tries to hide his face with a copy of his release order as he leaves Vancouver Police Department jail in Vancouver on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
VANCOUVER -- A man arrested for his role in what police described as a "makeshift nightclub" in a Vancouver penthouse is facing another charge.
Court records show Mohammad Movassaghi has been charged with unlawfully purchasing grain alcohol, an allegation with the same date as the party.
However, a member of Crown counsel told CTV News the charge is for selling liquor without a licence, not the charge that appeared on the court services website.
Movassaghi was already charged with two counts of failure to comply with an order of a health officer for the party last month, and is facing about $17,000 in fines.
Another 77 people were fined $230 each for their attendance, which was in violation of provincial COVID-19 rules.
Documents suggest the party broken up in the early hours of Sunday, Jan. 31, involved exotic dancers, bartenders and the delivery of 100 McDonald's cheeseburgers.
An application for search warrants to enter a Vancouver penthouse said there were complaints about repeated parties, each allegedly being attended by dozens of people.
It is alleged that a neighbour first complained of loud music in early January, and that things escalated on Jan. 23 when a woman invited to the party told police she'd seen a doorman, nightclub-style lighting and pole dancing inside. Police were not allowed inside, but returned to the building following a tip from its concierge at the end of the month.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
A statement to CTV News from Movassaghi's lawyer, who is also his brother, asked that the public keep in mind the allegations are unproven.
In the days after the party, an online fundraiser was launched on the site GoFundMe.com. This post included a plea for financial support, as well as comments denouncing the lockdown.
The site confirmed to CTV News that Mavassaghi set up the $100,000 fundraiser himself. It was deactivated, but the campaign claimed about $10,000 in cash was taken from the party host.
Additionally, he said he lost $5,000 in liquor, "and a series of personal items. There is also property damage I cannot fix given my bail conditions … I have staff to pay."
The fundraiser also mentioned fines and possible jail time, as well as legal fees.
With files from The Canadian Press and CTV News Vancouver's Ben Miljure and Penny Daflos