Fla. Man Claims Club Stripped Him of $50K

By Alan Farnham

Jul 10, 2012 3:51pm
ht club bliss dm 120710 wblog Fla. Man Claims Club Stripped Him of $50K

The homepage for Bliss Cabaret Club in Clearwater, Fla., is shown.

A Florida man claims he got stripped–financially speaking–by his strip club.

David Sockol, attorney for Lokesh Simon James of Pinellas Park, Fla., says that in early March his client racked up $600 worth of legitimate charges at Bliss Cabaret in Clearwater–”VIP dances, champagne and beer.”  But the club, he says, kept piling on the charges, unbeknownst to James. When James later opened up his monthly Bank of America credit card statement, he was shocked to see he’d been denuded of $50,000.

James, says Sockol, signed a credit card slip for the first $600. But after that, and for the next three hours James was in the club, Bliss “kept running up his card” at four-minute intervals–”$5,000 here, $4,000 there, a $2,000 tip.”  The club, says Sockol, “has no records of what he was claimed to be purchasing.”

“There’s no way to spend that kind of money,” the attorney told the Tampa Tribune. “How many dances would it take before you run up $50,000 at $20 a dance?”

Now James is suing Bliss for breach of contract and for theft.

BofA accepted the charges, says Sockol, even though the credit limit on James’ card was only $20,000. According to the attorney, when James protested the charges to the bank as fraudulent, he was told he’d have to pay, because he had authorized the initial charge.

A Bank of America spokesperson, contacted by ABC News, declined to comment on an individual customer dispute. Customers, she says, “Can dispute any transaction as fraudulent or unauthorized,” and are held accountable for charges found upon investigation to be legitimate.

A representative for the parent company of Bliss Cabaret said she was not sure whether or not James had been charged the correct amount, but declined to comment further because the incident is  still under investigation.

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