Those racy billboards that dot the 15 Freeway between Lake Elsinore and Corona are fewer these days, and one reason could be that the owner of a local strip club has been charged with multiple crimes.
Renee Anne Vicary, 51, of Corona entered a not-guilty plea in court Wednesday on tax evasion and five other felony counts that include willful misrepresentation to obtain insurance, court documents indicate.
Vicary also faces sentence-enhancing allegations of committing a white-collar crime -- where the loss is more than $100,000 -- and taking, destroying or damaging property.
The charges are in connection with her ownership and operation of four businesses, in the cities of Corona, Anaheim, Yucaipa and Apple Valley.
One of those owned by Vicary was the former Corona-based Angels Sports Bar and Gentleman’s Club.
According to Riverside County District Attorney spokesman John Hall, Angels was featured on an episode of the Spike network television makeover show “Bar Repair” in July 2011, during which it was renamed Racks Billiards & Bourbon.
Vicary has surrendered herself on a bench warrant to Riverside County Superior Court Judge Becky Dugan, court documents indicate.
The judge set a felony settlement conference for Aug. 13.
Vicary faces 14 years in prison if convicted on all charges and allegations, according to Hall.
An investigation into Vicary's alleged misdoings began nearly two years ago, when the DA’s office received information that she was not accurately reporting her employee payroll at the Corona bar, Hall wrote in a news release issued by his office.
Investigators determined that an insurance policy owned by Vicary listed four employees at each of the Corona and Anaheim businesses and three employees each at the San Bernardino County businesses, Hall said.
However, further investigation determined that Vicary had more employees than listed at each of the locations, Hall said.
Search warrants were subsequently served at the bars, her Corona home and a number of banks, Hall said.
“It took many months for EDD and three insurance companies used by Vicary to complete audits,” Hall said.
“Once those audits were done, it was found that losses were in excess of $340,000," Hall said.
Vicary is currently out of custody on her own recognizance, court papers state.