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Apr 15 2015

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Another Canadian Pimp Identified as Illegal Porn Studio is Shut Down in Tampa Bay for Loud Parties

TBO by Mike Salinero | Tribune Staff
Published: April 14, 2015   |   Updated: April 15, 2015 at 05:40 AM

— If it wasn’t for the loud parties, the owner of a $2 million mansion in northwest Hillsborough County might have continued operating a training school for strippers next door to an exclusive gated community.

But the all-night, liquor-fueled celebrations, complete with booming stereos and screaming women, drew complaints from the Cheval West neighborhood.

“If they had flown under the radar, they’d still be in business,” said Hillsborough sheriff’s Deputy Phil Acaba, who has investigated the events at 18520 Ramblewood Road. “The noise was the issue that brought their downfall.”

Code violations and a misdemeanor criminal charge have been leveled against the mansion’s owner and manager, but county officials want to make sure the violations don’t recur. On Thursday, representatives from Code Enforcement and the sheriff’s office will meet with County Commissioner Kevin Beckner to discuss whether further action is necessary.

“It’s a priority of my office that we work with Code Enforcement and the sheriff’s office so we can return peace and order to their neighborhood,” Beckner said. “That kind of establishment has no business being in a residential neighborhood anywhere.”

Code Enforcement has issued five citations against the property, some for holding special events in an agricultural/residential zone and some for operating special events without conditional use approval. A hearing on the violations is scheduled April 24.

Sean Grey, a manager at the mansion-for-rent, was accused by the sheriff’s office of violating the county’s noise ordinance, a misdemeanor. On Monday, a circuit judge dismissed the charge.

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The mansion is owned by Pink Tati LLC, but the principal owner is Canadian millionaire Gordon Lownds. In an interview Monday, Lownds said he has ceased all commercial activity at the 12,000-square-foot house, shutting down its modeling school for exotic dancers.

“We are aware of what we are allowed to do and not do,” Lownds said. “We are conforming with all the zoning requirements.”

Lownds bought the mansion in April 2013 for $2 million. He said he and some partners planned to film a reality show there about the day-to-day lives of strippers.

Lownds remodeled the mansion in lush, Egyptian-themed decor, and advertised it as “Pharaoh’s Palace.” Internet ads said the mansion was available for rent to “event planners, professional photographers, music video producers, and television and film producers. …”

Grey and Nicholas Worlds, a former investor in several adult-themed businesses, ran Pharaoh’s Daughters modeling agency out of the mansion. According to the Pharaoh’s Daughters website, the company provides “coaching and ongoing employment to promising young strippers.”

Cheval West homeowner Ron Nagy said at first he was not aware of the businesses Lownds was planning on running at the mansion. Nagy and his wife have lived in Cheval for 17 years. He said a real estate agent told him the property behind his house was part of the Brooker Creek Headwaters Preserve.

But then, Nagy said, one of the developers of Cheval built a mansion on the seven acres.

“It was disappointing, but it was quiet,” he said.

That changed after Lownds bought the property.

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On Aug. 16, an adult-themed, “Midsummer Night Wet Dream” party was held at the mansion. The event was advertised online as featuring a porn star, Pinky XXX.

A couple of weeks after the party, Nagy filed his first complaint to the sheriff’s office and Code Enforcement. Unlike some of his neighbors, Nagy had seen the ads for the porn party and for Pharaoh’s Palace.

“This to me seems like there was an undercurrent of very sexually related activities,” Nagy said. “They’re gaming the system.”

Yet even after his Sept. 2 complaint, the loud parties continued. As far as Nagy could see, nothing had changed. He made subsequent complaints and calls to the 911 non-emergency phone line.

On Dec. 19, Nagy said he got a call from Jim Blinck, the Code Enforcement director. According to Nagy, Blinck said the county’s Code Enforcement Board would schedule a hearing on the mansion. Nagy said he and other Cheval residents would testify about the loud parties.

But the hearing was never scheduled. When Nagy called to ask why, Blinck said one of his supervisors had toured the property and determined the modeling agency had left and the house was for sale. Several weeks later, the mansion hosted a loud wedding with an amplified party band.

“These folks were feeling real good about themselves,” Nagy said. “They felt like with all these complaints they could just keep going.”

Blinck said his agency was aware Pharaoh’s Palace was advertising as a commercial venue in September. But Blinck said he had no evidence of a violation other than the Internet advertising.

Meanwhile, attorneys for Pink Tati were negotiating with the county Development Services Department about possibly rezoning the property to bring it into compliance. Blinck said Code Enforcement usually waits to see if a potential rezoning is successful before taking action on a violation.

What’s more, Blinck said, his department doesn’t have police powers allowing inspection of a property without the owner’s permission. He had to rely on reports from the sheriff’s office, which had been called to the mansion several times on noise complaints.

“We gathered all the information together, and we feel now we have enough evidence to show the property is being used in way that is a violation of the zoning code,” Blinck said.

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Deputy Acaba, who toured the house, said there was no mistaking the erotic atmosphere Lownds and his partners had created. Acaba said he noticed that Grey kept a coffee cup full of condom packages on his desk.

When he told Grey that Pharaoh’s Palace had a zoning problem, the deputy said, Grey shrugged it off.

“He told me that they will make it all go away,” Acaba said. Lownds “will throw money at the county and it will go away.”

Lownds denied anything improper happened at Pharaoh’s Palace. He said he didn’t believe Acaba’s account of his visit with Grey.

“Sean would never say that,” Lownds said. “Sean is respectful of the law.”

Attorney Truett Gardner said he plans to attend the Thursday meeting representing the Cheval West Community Association. Gardner said he wants assurances the county plans to follow through on the code violations, regardless of the assurances from Lownds that commercial activity has stopped.

Gardner said there’s room for doubt as long as websites for Pharaoh’s Palace and Pharaoh’s Daughters remain active.

“If there is some truth and sincerity behind those statements,” he said, “it seems like those would be removed.”

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://porninthevalley.com/2015/04/15/another-canadian-pimp-identified-as-illegal-porn-studio-is-shut-down-in-tampa-bay-for-loud-parties/

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