A man accused of operating a makeshift nightclub inside his Vancouver penthouse amid COVID-19 restrictions was back in jail on the weekend.
Police confirm Mo Movassaghi, 42, was arrested at 5 a.m. Saturday at his Vancouver residence.
Sgt. Steve Addison with Vancouver police said Movassaghi was taken into custody after the VPD attended his home in response to a complaint from the public.
Movassaghi has since been charged with disobeying a court order and two counts of possessing a controlled substance.
He is also accused of breaching a release order, according to Addison.
Police had been called to investigate an allegation Movassaghi was breaching his court-ordered condition limiting the number of visitors to his suite.
At a court appearance Monday, the Crown said Movassaghi argued he only had two people inside – but after being handcuffed – he collapsed.
Police found roughly 6.5 grams of cocaine, MDMA, and another drug on Movassaghi, according to the Crown.
Movassaghi was given 12 months probation and ordered to pay a $100 fine after pleading guilty to simple possession of cocaine.
“Frankly, I think most people would expect the book to be thrown at him,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth on Sunday.
“If these allegations about the arrest are related to COVID and hosting a party, for example, I just find it unbelievable that anybody could be that stupid, to put it bluntly,” Farnworth told Global News.
On Jan. 31, Movassaghi was released on conditions to not host parties or hold alcohol inside the penthouse, after he was taken into custody when Vancouver police served a warrant on his Richards Street condo unit.
At the time, police said Movassaghi was hiding behind a chair among more than 70 people, none of whom were wearing masks.
Police said when they attended the unit they found 78 people inside, along with menus, liquor, point-of-sale terminals and multiple cash tills.
Police handed out more than $17,000 in fines and said the suite appeared to be operating as a nightclub and show lounge complete with a stripper pole.
Movassaghi was initially charged with two counts of failing to comply with the orders of a health officer. On Feb. 18, a charge of unlawfully purchasing grain alcohol was also sworn against Movassaghi in connection with the same alleged Jan. 31 penthouse party.
Global News reached out to Movassaghi’s legal counsel about the March 27 arrest but did not receive a response Sunday.
Movassaghi’s lawyer Bobby Movassaghi issued a statement on Jan. 31 saying his client was entitled to his day in court.
“He simply asks that you keep in mind that at this point in time these are unproven allegations, and like anyone else charged with an offence in Canada, he enjoys the presumption of innocence,” he said.
Movassaghi was released from custody Monday and will next appear in court on April 1 on the provincial health order charges related to his alleged nightclub.
-With files from Jon AzpiriView link »