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Published: Sunday, 6/19/2005

State agents raid Club Rain, cite liquor, unpaid tax issues

Three people were cited and bookkeeping records seized yesterday during a raid at Club Rain in downtown Toledo, which authorities said was operating although its liquor license was expired, authorities said.

Ahmed H. Dia, 31, of Toledo, the owner and operator, and Joseph J. Hartman, 22, of Northwood and Ami L. Lorenzen, 28, of Lambertville, both bartenders, were each cited for illegal sale of alcohol.

Mr. Dia also was cited for keeping a place where alcohol is served in violation of law.

The three were summoned to appear June 28 in Toledo Municipal Court, said Earl Mack, of the Investigative Unit of the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

Mr. Mack, the agent in charge of enforcement operations in northwest Ohio, said the club at 140 North Huron St. was notified by the Ohio Department of Commerce that its liquor license, which was about to expire, would not be renewed because of unpaid taxes.

On Thursday, the investigative unit, in turn, received a notification from the division of liquor control that the club's license had expired and wasn't renewed. The unit then sent two undercover agents to the club, who were served alcohol about 10:30 p.m. Friday and about 12:30 a.m. yesterday, Mr. Mack said. At 12:50 a.m., the unit's agents raided the club, saw people being served alcohol, and issued the citations and seized the records, Mr. Mack said.

Club Rain, which opened 2 years ago, was one of five downtown clubs owned by SBD Entertainment, whose partners include Mr. Dia. Two clubs, Ice Bar and Margarita Rocks, opened Friday. The sixth, the Shadow Lounge, is to open in July.

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