VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The Vancouver man who was recently arrested for defying COVID-19 orders by turning his penthouse into a makeshift nightclub launched a short-lived GoFundMe campaign Thursday — raising $260 of his $100,000 goal before taking it offline.
In a since-deleted post, Mohammad Movassaghi, said he was fundraising in order to “defend our right to enjoy our private property rights in the hopes of setting a precedent for my fellow Canadians. I believe what happened in the privacy of our homes should remain as such.”
The 42-year-old has been charged with two counts of failing to comply with the order of a health officer after being arrested last weekend. Seventy-seven guests were also ticketed in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Movassaghi has been accused of running and promoting parties out of his downtown Vancouver condo while orders prohibiting gatherings have been in place.
The penthouse parties allegedly featured tables, menus, and cash tills. One event last month even had someone who appeared to be acting as a doorman.
The GoFundMe cited damage to Movassaghi’s property as one of the expenses he was trying to recoup through crowdfunding.
“Approximately $10,000 in cash was taken from me, about $5,000 in liquor and a series of personal items. There is also property damage I can not fix given my bail conditions,” he wrote.
“I now face multiple fines of up to $25K as well as a possible jail sentence.”
A GoFundMe page set up apparently by the so called “penthouse partier” in downtown Vancouver seeking $100,000 for legal and other expenses has now been taken down. Details on @NEWS1130. pic.twitter.com/kw2yhIJCW1
— BEN WILSON (@benwilson1130) February 5, 2021
He also said legal fees were mounting, and his income has taken a hit along with his reputation.
“The powers that be have also engaged in a smear campaign which has affected my ability to work and earn a living.”
The GoFundMe asserts that there were no complaints made about the activity, however, the search warrants police obtained paint a different picture.
The application to provincial court says complaints about repeated parties allegedly with dozens of people attending on some nights began on Jan. 2.
Those documents say the investigation kicked into high gear when a woman invited to a party reported seeing exotic dancers on a “stripper pole,” bartenders making and serving drinks, a DJ playing music as well as spotlights resembling those in a nightclub. Police also said they observed the delivery of 100 cheeseburgers to a suite before a man was arrested.
None of the allegations in the warrants have been proven in court.
Movassaghi is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 22.
With files from NEWS 1130 Staff, Kyle Donaldson, and the Canadian Press