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Father disputes son's $53,000 strip club bill
Published October 29, 2007
FORT WALTON BEACH - A father wants investigators to pursue fraud and larceny charges against a Panhandle strip club after his son ran up a $53,000 bill in a single night while celebrating his college graduation.
Joe Salter, 52, of Mary Esther, told investigators Club 10 employees took advantage of his 24-year-old son, Tommy. The younger Salter was at the club Aug. 18 to celebrate his graduation from Georgia Tech.
According to a report from the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, Salter told employees he could only spend $600. But Club 10 owner Tim Beal said Salter bought at least 19 bottles of champagne - priced from $150 to $2,000.
Beal said Salter signed a receipt for each champagne purchase and even scrawled his initials next to itemized charges. But the elder Salter said only the signature on the first receipt matches his son's.
The sheriff's report alleges larceny and credit card fraud.
Beal said Salter appeared to know what he was doing throughout the night. "This fellow was lucid," Beal said. "He was actually dancing with the manager, Chris, right before he left."
Beal said he talked to American Express after Salter filed a complaint with the company, seeking to have part of the charge withdrawn. The company decided in Club 10's favor, he said.