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Monday, August 23, 2010

Keith Fudge sighted

Accused of ripping off Halifax gay bar VorTex

Posted By on Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 3:55 PM

fudge.jpg
A reader in Newfoundland emailed today to say Keith Fudge is living and working in St. John's.

Fudge is the purported scam artist who in 2004 allegedly stole $20,000 in weekend sales from the gay bar VorTex, which was located in what is now the empty Diamonds space at 2215 Gottingen Street. As Coast writer Johnston Farrow reported the following year:

Vortex had to close after Keith Fudge, who had started working at the club a few months earlier under the pretense of buying the business from Carl Maxwell, disappeared on September 13, 2004, after he went to the bank to deposit the weekend receipts of over $20,000. Vortex staff saw neither the cash nor Fudge again. He went missing the same day he was due to sign the papers that would sign the club over to him. To add insult to injury, $15,000 in cheques written by Fudge to cover supplies for the following month—his first in charge of the club—bounced. It sent Club Vortex management scrambling to stay out of bankruptcy and the local gay community reeling.

After a couple months of struggling to keep the club open, Maxwell decided to sell the business to Club NRG owner Peter Moll in December 2004. The club officially changed hands in February 2005. Most of the employees of Club Vortex left to pursue other avenues.

I should stress that a Halifax police investigation into the robbery went nowhere and no charges were laid in relation to it. However, Constable Brian Palmeter told me this afternoon that there are two warrants for Fudge's arrest---a 2001 warrant issued issued in Leamington, Ontario, and a 2007 warrant issued in Montreal. That seems to support posts on the GayHalifax web site alleging various other scams perpetuated by Fudge.

None of the allegations have been proven in a court of law. Palmeter tells me that neither of the two warrants are of substantial enough nature for any police department to ask for Fudge's arrest and removal from Newfoundland, should he in fact be found to be living there.

The emailer, who asks for for anonymity because he fears reprisal from Fudge, says that Fudge "floats around the gay community" in St. John's.

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