Operator of Illegal Club Will Pay a $20,000 Fine

The operator of an illegal nightclub in the basement of a house at 7 Muir Boulevard in East Hampton has agreed to pay a $20,000 fine in exchange for the criminal case against him in East Hampton Town Justice Court being adjourned. The charges are to be dismissed if there are no further violations within the next six months.

Luis H. Farez, 42, also has agreed to allow town code enforcement officers to make unannounced inspections of the house over the next six years. “The stipulation settlement calls for a permanent injunction for the owner of the property from using it for anything other than a single-family dwelling,” Michael Sendlenski, the town’s lead attorney, said this week. The agreement was signed on Tuesday following negotiations between NancyLynne Thiele and Hope DeLauter, the prosecuting attorneys for the town, and Christian Killoran, an attorney representing Mr. Farez.

The nightclub, called the Tunnel, was promoted on Facebook. It cost $30 to get in, and there was a cash bar. The town became aware of it after neighbors complained about cars blocking Muir Boulevard. Mr. Sendlenski said that when police and code enforcement officers raided the house in late August, they found over 130 people in the basement.

The legal agreement also named Watermill Deli, which supplied the club’s food and beverages, and LI-DJs Entertainment, the music provider, both of which Mr. Farez owns.

“The property had previously come to the attention of town authorities, and citations were issued for illegal multifamily occupancy and bedrooms in the basement, along with safety violations such as lack of smoke detectors,” The Star reported in August. Those violations were cleared up, and a certificate of occupancy, which included a recreation room in the basement, was issued.

The town initially obtained a temporary restraining order on Aug. 19 from State Supreme Court Justice Joseph C. Pastoressa to shut down the club. The agreement is to be finalized in State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Farneti’s courtroom over the next few weeks.

 Mr. Sendlenski pointed out that Justice Farneti is to issue a permanent injunction, meaning that any violations of the stipulation would result in criminal contempt charges, which could be at either the misdemeanor or felony level.

The fine is to be paid in four increments, stretching to next July, and Mr. Farez has already made the first one. If he misses any the fine will be raised to $30,000, due immediately.