A judge ruled Wednesday Tiffany’s Cabaret is a nuisance property after Horry County officials sent out-of-towners undercover to the business who claimed they were offered sex acts for money.
There also was evidence that drugs were offered to patrons, according to Jimmy Richardson, solicitor for the 15th Circuit.
Tiffany’s marks the sixth business closed voluntarily or involuntarily as a result of investigations sparked and led by the Horry County Police Department, and prosecuted by The Battle Law Firm, who was hired by Richardson’s office to follow through with the cases.
Judge Larry Hyman issued the ruling against The Gold Club, as well, which already had been closed.
“Wednesday in court, Judge Hyman granted injunctions regarding The Gold Club and Tiffany’s Cabaret and found that both of them were a nuisance,” Richardson said. “Business can’t continue in that building. The Gold Club had already closed, so that one really didn’t matter.”
Richardson said once the ruling is signed, it will be placed on Tiffany’s door and the entrance will be locked. At 4:30 p.m. Thursday, the door was locked and there were no signs indicating hours of operation or whether the business remained open.
Randall Mullins, attorney for Tiffany’s Cabaret, could not be reached for comment Thursday. A phone number for the business was disconnected Thursday. Neither Dunn Levon nor David Scrivani, both defendants listed in the court case, could be reached for comment Thursday.
Richardson said in both cases, the police used undercover individuals.
“They were undercover stings,” Richardson said. The people who were used were from out of town. They were not police officers. They had went in for what was the equivalent of a lap dance, and we made them very much aware that... it had to be real-life prostitution or drug sales for it to be a public nuisance.”
Businesses closed during Richardson’s most recent sweep include Teezers, The Bunny Ranch, Bottoms Up, The Gold Club, Airport Express Video and Tiffany’s Cabaret. Horry County has also worked in recent years to close Celebrations in the northern end of the county and Tequila Empire.
“This is something we’ve been doing for years,” Richardson said. “I think what got everybody fired up was we did six or seven at one time.”
He said there is still one more business tied up in state court.
“Everything’s closed except Fantails,” Richardson said of the adult club off U.S. 501. “Fantails doesn’t have a hearing date yet, but it will be in front of [Master-In-Equity Cynthia] Howe.”
Richardson said the process of determining a nuisance property starts with the county police. He said there are no more businesses on his radar.
“I know that as of yet, I haven’t heard of any other complaints or been asked to get involved with any other building,” Richardson said. “Out of these seven businesses, one left. They’re represented. I’m sure they’ll put up a good argument and we’ll let the judge decide.”