Lawsuit filed to have cash found at illegal Vancouver penthouse party forfeited

The B.C. government is going after thousands of dollars in cash found at an illegal party in a downtown condo building.

The lawsuit was filed by the province Monday against Mohammad Movassaghi. It claims Vancouver police seized more than $8,700 from a penthouse suite on Richards Street and it wants the cash forfeited as proceeds of crime.

The lawsuit says there were dozens of people at the illegal party in January and some of them were associated to organized crime.

In April, Movassaghi pleaded guilty and was sentenced in B.C. provincial court on counts of violating a public health order and keeping liquor for sale contrary to the Liquor Control and Licensing Act. 

At the time, the court heard that Movassaghi threw wild parties in a Vancouver penthouse that involved exotic dancers and booze sales while B.C. was working to get its COVID-19 case numbers under control.

When officers arrested Movassaghi at about 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 31, there were 78 people in the unit, including a topless woman standing next to a two-storey stripper pole in the penthouse loft.

The court also heard that police found multiple point-of-sale machines, two cash bars, and drink menus advertising cocktails that cost between $9 and $26. There was also bottle service offered for up to $1,500.

No statement of defence in the province's lawsuit has been filed.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Ben Miljure and Maria Weisgarber