‘Prostitution, wage theft’: Strip club war over mega venue
A FORTITUDE Valley strip club has launched a scathing attack on a potential rival as it attempts to block it from opening a super-sized venue.
In a 69-page objection to the state's strip-club probity investigator, Candy Club's Fletcher Potanin has tried to stymie rival Jasmine Robson's company The Grosvenor The Valley Pty Ltd (GTV) from getting a permit to open a club.
Potanin, 47, encouraged investigators to probe if the Grosvenor club that ran in Brisbane's CBD until last February - operated by Robson, 37, of Parkwood on the Gold Coast - had committed large-scale wage theft, sham contracting, and if large amounts of cash had been siphoned off from the club.
Potanin also alleged there was a risk GTV - which is set to open on the Prohibition nightclub site on Wickham St - may transgress into prostitution because he believes Robson is running, or at least promoting, party-strippers website PeachE, and is disregarding stripper rules by offering table-dancers who perform raunchy acts for tradies at the Burnside Tavern in Yatala, south of Brisbane.
Potanin sent videos of allegedly illegal routines at the Burnside to the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation on July 24, and alleged tradies were offered take-home extras including strippers to clean their homes naked.
Potanin's objections were filed in Brisbane Supreme Court last month, where he failed to force the regulator to declare it had refused GTV's permit.
Potanin also asked the regulator and police to probe alleged Mackay strip club owner and developer Richard John Williamson, 61, whose Rick Williamson Investments is a shareholder in GTV.
Potanin suggested Williamson may have owned a slice of the Grosvenor on George because he was referred to as the owner by an agent selling it in 2014, and Robson was allegedly described as an employee on $180,000.
Potanin told the regulator Robson and Williamson were not fit and proper or suitable to hold a permit.
He suggested there was an unexplained $340,000 gap between profit and reported taxable income at the Grosvenor in 2014, with a possible explanation being cash removed from the banking and not reported to the tax office.
Potanin conceded in his submission it may be construed that he has a conflict of interest because he was the Candy Club landlord, and that his accusations might not be fully supported by evidence, according to court documents.
In a statement to The Courier-Mail, Ms Robson slammed the allegations as "vexatious, false and unfounded".
"I have an exemplary compliance history for over 13 years," she said.
"I am well known as a top operator who has excellent venues, treats the girls well and maintains a compliant venue."