A troubled Charlotte nightclub will close after Club 935 owner Adolph Shiver was sentenced Thursday to nine months in prison and nine months on house arrest as part of a plea deal for tax fraud and money laundering.
Shiver was also ordered to pay $28,635 in restitution to the IRS and a $25,000 fine. He’ll have to close the club permanently as part of the plea agreement.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Conrad handed down the agreed-upon sentence with what he called “some reluctance” because of Shiver’s previous conviction for failing to file tax returns in 2004-2006.
Conrad said he was mindful that it wasn’t Shiver’s “first rodeo,” and that the probation he’d served on the earlier tax charges hadn’t stopped him from accepting $50,000 from a DEA informant to launder.
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According to court records, Shiver accepted $50,000 in 2013 and promised to launder the money to make it “clean.” However, he never laundered the money, one of his lawyers said. Instead, he returned it. But accepting the money was still illegal, the defense lawyer told the judge.
Conrad ordered Shiver close Club 935 within 60 days, giving him time to sell the assets he still has on the site.
Before being sentenced, Shiver told the judge that he’d been “sloppy and stupid,” and was sorry for what he’d done.
The club lost the ability to sell alcohol earlier in this month when the North Carolina ABC Commission suspended its liquor license after a shooting near the club. Police affidavits sent to the ABC Commission described the club as a frequent source of crime including drug transactions and violence.
That crime, police said, harmed nearby residents in Wesley Heights.
Six Wesley Heights residents sat in the back of the courtroom Thursday. Some smiled when Shiver was sentenced.
One resident, Elizabeth Sweet, said she and the others are relieved that the club will be closed. But she said the process won’t be complete until the neighborhood knows that the site won’t be used “for another similar business.”
Sweet said the club has been a drag on development.
Fellow resident Wendy Norvell said the closing of the club will help continue the economic growth happening the Wesley Heights neighborhood and the West Morehead area.
John Gresham, one of Shiver’s attorneys, said developers have had an impact on the way the club is perceived by police and residents.
He said Shiver used to provide club parking at vacant sites in the area, but the parking was lost when developers purchased land. That forced club patrons to park on the streets of Wesley Heights, which angered residents.
Shiver declined to talk to the Observer as he left the courtroom.
Gresham clapped him on the shoulder.
Shiver turned to Gresham and said: “I was nervous.”