June 23, 2018
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Owner of Diamonds Gentleman’s Club sues ex-managers, alleging theft of $200,000

Gabor Degre | BDN
Gabor Degre | BDN
Diamonds Gentleman's Club on Harlow Street in Bangor
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — The owner of Diamonds Gentleman’s Club has sued the former management team of the business in federal court, alleging its members stole nearly $200,000 in the first 19 months the nightclub, located on Harlow Street, was open.

Arayos LLC filed the lawsuit against Jimmie Ellis of Alabama, his management firm, Skydal, Inc., and others on Feb. 14 in U.S. District Court, according to information on the court’s electronic case filing system.

Arayos is owned by Red Brick Trust, the complaint said. The trustee of Red Brick is Scott A. Liberty of New Gloucester. The trust became the sole owner of Arayos in September 2012.

An answer to the complaint has not been filed.

Arayos hired Ellis and Skydal when Diamonds opened in February 2012 to oversee the club’s operations, the complaint said. Ellis and his management firm were paid $700 a week. Liberty served largely as an absentee owner until Sept. 16, 2013, when he fired Ellis and Skydal.

The complaint alleged that Ellis and his company:

— failed to pay $100,000 in payroll taxes, resulting in a $20,000 penalty.

— diverted $36,000 in ATM fees transferred to Ellis and/or Skydal’s bank accounts in Alabama.

— stole $68,400 generated by the sale of test tube shots, which the complaint says are also called Jell-O shots.

In addition to Ellis, Arayos sued Ellis’ wife, Misty Burr, both of Theodore, Ala., John M. Vellianitis of Mobile, Ala., and accountant Cleola Luk, of Bangor. Diamonds’ owner also sued JMV Inc. and PAXOS Management Service Inc., both owned by Vellianitis.

All three businesses are located in Mobile, Ala., according to the complaint.

Ellis, Burr and Luk said Monday that they had not been served with the complaint and were unaware of the lawsuit. All declined to comment.

Efforts to reach Vellianitis, who owns a strip club in Mobile called Diamonds Exclusive Men’s Club, were unsuccessful Monday and Tuesday.

Burr and Luk aided in the thefts, the complaint alleges. Vellianitis and his companies allegedly used the logo, artwork and name of Diamonds in Bangor to market a Mobile, Ala., nightclub apparently called Diamonds Exclusive Men’s Club of Mobile.

Last June, Vellianitis agreed to pay a $96,500 judgment to two former exotic dancers who worked at the Mobile club, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Mobile. The women sued Vellianitis in June 2012 alleging that he had violated federal minimum wage and other laws in the three years they had worked at the club.

While the complaint accused Vellianitis and his companies of entering into a civil conspiracy with Ellis and his firm to defraud Arayos and steal from the Maine corporation, it did not allege any of the money was used to pay the judgment.

Arayos is seeking a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages.

John Branson, the Portland attorney representing Arayos, said last week that Bangor police are investigating the theft for possible criminal prosecution. Lt. Paul Edwards, spokesman for the department, said Tuesday that he could not confirm an investigation was in progress or comment on an ongoing investigation if one was in progress.

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