Nicole Dantzler and Will Gonzalez
17 minutes ago
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond charity is suing a local venue. It alleges the venue misappropriated charity funds and used a state-issued Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) license to serve alcohol.
woody foundationThe organization, whose mission is to “improve the quality of life for inner-city youth” in the Richmond area, has held more than a dozen events at the Military Retirement Club over the past decade.
Foundation founder Christopher Woody said most, if not all, events have been held at military veterans clubs for the past 10 years, but in early 2022 a friend told Woody that they should stop. He said their relationship deteriorated when he told her, There is no need to pay admission tax for his events.
Woody said he looked into it and found that his friend was right. In an email obtained by 8News, city officials told Woody that charity events that accept donations without charging an admission fee will not be subject to an admission tax.
In the suit, Woody alleges that he paid about 7% of his estimated income from each of his events in admission taxes, which typically ranged between $250 and $500, totaling $30,000 annually. It also goes up.
According to the foundation’s contract with the venue, the venue was to pay the required admission tax to the city on the foundation’s behalf. Woody said an investigation revealed the city had no record of the venue paying admission taxes on behalf of the foundation.
“It was a little upsetting to know that I had trusted them with money to pay on behalf of the foundation and there was nothing,” Woody said. “When we asked to see all admission taxes paid on behalf of the foundation, there was no record of the funds ever being submitted.”
After Woody found out, he sent the venue a certificate saying he didn’t have to pay the admission fee. The venue’s management responded to him that if he did not continue to pay, he would not be allowed to host any future events there.
“They banned me,” Woody said. “We had to move the event to a smaller location, and we lost money by canceling previous contracts we had with artists coming here.”
According to the complaint, Woody discovered he was banned from the venue the night before one of the events held there. Woody told 8News that he stripped the ABC license from the event, but the venue’s management somehow reprinted it and allowed the party to continue, including alcohol.
“When I told them the event had to be canceled because I didn’t want them to sell alcohol under their license, the club manager said they could do whatever they wanted,” Woody said. “So we asked for our event license back and they allowed us to continue with the event and reissued our license.”
In response to the lawsuit, the president and vice president of the veterans club strongly denied the accusations, insisting that the contract was between the venue and Woody himself, not the foundation.
8News received a statement from the venue’s legal representative, which reads in part: “Our client categorically denies the allegations as without merit and looks forward to this matter being resolved in the Military Veterans Club’s favor in Richmond Circuit Court.”
Woody said the amount in the lawsuit has not yet been determined but will be known soon.