According to court documents, SCHENCK met Dominique Berry in New Orleans in about early 2013 and soon developed a romantic relationship. Shortly thereafter, SCHENCK encouraged Berry to engage in commercial sex activities (i.e., prostitution) with individuals in the New Orleans, Louisiana area and became involved in the scheduling, coordination, and facilitation of Berry’s commercial sex acts. SCHENCK typically kept all, or most, of the proceeds of the commercial sex acts.
Beginning in about March 2014, and continuing through September 2017, SCHENCK and Berry travelled nationally engaging in their prostitution enterprise, including through California, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Tennessee, and Georgia. In furtherance of the enterprise, Berry regularly engaged in commercial sex acts on multiple days of nearly every week between about March 2014 and September 2017. SCHENCK and Berry posted numerous advertisements containing photographs of Berry on multiple location-specific online classified ad service websites and social media applications in that invited interested individuals to contact Berry to schedule sexual interactions, many of which were explicitly commercial.
Beginning in about 2015, the prostitution enterprise evolved to include a scheme to defraud, whereby SCHENCK caused Berry to arrange “out call” interactions at the residences of men who met her through online postings. While at the residences, Berry placed substances in the beverages of the men for the purpose of “spiking” their drinks and rendering them unconscious. Berry then took items of value from the incapacitated men, including jewelry, firearms, electronics, cash, and debit and credit cards. SCHENCK and Berry used the items, without the knowledge or authorization of the people to whom the items belonged, for their benefit and the benefit of individuals associated with them. SCHENCK and Berry implemented the scheme numerous times throughout the United States.
In furtherance of the scheme, on or about February 24, 2017, Berry met the victim, a resident of Metairie, Louisiana, through a social media application. After exchanging text messages and phone calls, Berry and the victim agreed to meet at the victim’s apartment. SCHENCK dropped Berry off at the victim’s apartment. Acting at SCHENCK’s direction, while at the victim’s apartment, Berry provided the victim with various substances, including alcohol, to loosen the victim’s inhibitions and to render them more susceptible to theft. After the victim became incapacitated, Berry stole the victim’s personal property, including a debit card. SCHENCK picked Berry up at approximately 1:00 am and then used the victim’s debit card, without the victim’s authorization, to make a purchase at a Walmart Supercenter in New Orleans later that day.
SCHENCK faces up to five years in prison as to Count 1 and up to twenty years in prison as to Count 7, a fine of up to $250,000.00, up to three years of supervised release after imprisonment, and a mandatory $100 special assessment per count. SCHENCK may also be ordered to pay restitution to his victims. Sentencing before Judge Ashe has been scheduled for August 18, 2021, at 1:30 p.m.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter and expressed appreciation for the support provided by numerous law enforcement agencies and private entities involved in the investigation, including the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Tucson (Arizona) Police Department, the Salt River (Arizona) Police Department, the Cobb County (Georgia) Police Department, the Sandy Springs (Georgia) Police Department, the Sacramento (California) Police Department, and Talking Stick Casino (Arizona). Assistant United States Attorneys Jordan Ginsberg, Unit Chief of the Public Corruption Unit, and Melissa Bücher are in charge of the prosecution.