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Polo, booze, a bounced check and the Salahis

Add Montgomery County to the list of entities with problems with Tareq and Michaele Salahi.

On Thursday, the county went to court to try to recover thousands of dollars from the Salahis for high-end wine and other booze they bought for their charity polo match in May.

Montgomery County had high hopes for America’s Polo Cup World Championship.

“This event is a world class celebration of polo, culture, fashion and history that will provide an exciting array of weekend festivities for County residents as well as for visitors from around the world,” Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett said in a statement last spring.

Just how exciting, who would have known? Now county officials are trying to collect more than $10,000 from a $23,000 check signed by Tareq Salahi that bounced. The money was for the county’s liquor agency, which delivered alcohol to the site on May8, including an array of specially ordered Australian wines.

By the end of the day, the check bounced, said county liquor chief George F. Griffin. “We got a call from them that they wrote the check on wrong account,” and were promised another check, Griffin recalled.

“We said ‘sorry, we already deposited it.’ Sure enough, it did bounce.” When county officials returned on May 11 to pick up unopened bottles of alcohol, he said, there was supposed to be another check. “Nobody was there,” Griffin said.

“We kept calling and getting the run around. We chased them for a week or so. We couldn’t get a straight story out of them, so we turned it over to the county attorney’s office.”

Which is still trying to collect. On Thursday, the office of Montgomery County Attorney Leon Rodriguez filed suit in District Court in Montgomery County, seeking court help in getting the money owed to the county, officials said.

Griffin says he’s reviewing how his office collects funds from purchasers who are from outside of Montgomery County and hold special events. He may in the future demand cash up front or a certified check.

“We are vulnerable on the one-day licenses. Most times it is a church supper, or somebody local in the community. I was feeling really bad about our situation until I saw what happened in Virigina. We are in line, but further back than I thought.”

The Salahis and their attorney did not return calls to The Post.

-- Miranda S. Spivack

By Washington Post editors  |  December 4, 2009; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities , Montgomery  
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Let's hope they get an invitation to the jail house.

Posted by: mai1231 | December 4, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

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