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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Dodge County Strip Club Owner & Former Manager Charged with Federal Offenses

United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger announced that on December 10, 2019, a federal grand jury indicted Michael C. Siegel (age 52) formerly of Clyman and currently of Fox Lake, Wisconsin, and Scott D. Hoeft (age 40) of Watertown, Wisconsin, for offenses related to the operation of the Hardware Store, a strip club located in Dodge County.

The indictment contains two counts.  Count One alleges that between 2009 and 2018, Siegel (an owner of the club) and Hoeft (a former bartender and manager) conspired with each other and others to use facilities in interstate commerce to promote, manage, and carry on unlawful prostitution offenses, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 & 1952(a)(3).  Count Two alleges that in April 2018 Siegel made false statements to law enforcement investigating human trafficking offenses, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001.

According to the indictment, the purpose of the conspiracy was to generate revenue for the Hardware Store by making the club’s lap dance and champagne rooms available for unlawful prostitution activity, including oral sex, full intercourse, and fetish activities.  The indictment alleges that as a part of the conspiracy, Hoeft, Siegel, and others: (1) hired and employed dancers willing to perform sex acts, including women that they knew were working for pimps; (2) sent text messages in interstate commerce and used Facebook Messenger to communicate with dancers and pimps; and (3) allowed customers to use credit cards to pay for lap dances and champagne rooms and to obtain cash back to pay dancers directly for sex acts.  The indictment also describes a series of acts by Siegel, Hoeft, and other designed to carry on the unlawful activity. 

United States Attorney Krueger commented: “These charges send a warning to any business owner who works with a pimp to facilitate illegal prostitution.  When a pimp is involved, women are often being trafficked by force, fraud, and coercion.  The Justice Department is committed to prosecuting sex trafficking aggressively.”    

Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Hughes, of the FBI Milwaukee Field Office, stated: “The collaborative efforts of the FBI working closely with our law enforcement partners makes it possible to bring offenders to justice who work with pimps who victimize women, often forced by violence into the unlawful act of prostitution.”

“I am thankful for the partnership with the federal government in developing this case regarding the human trafficking, prostitution, and other serious crimes.  The charges brought against Siegel and Hoeft send a strong and clear message that we will not tolerate this criminal activity and we will use all resources available to us to hold offenders accountable,” said Dodge County Sheriff Dale J. Schmidt.

If convicted of Count One, Siegel and Hoeft would face up to 5 years in prison.  If convicted of Count Two, Siegel would face up to 8 years in prison.  Each count of conviction also carries a maximum fine of $250,000 and a maximum term of 3 years of supervised release following any prison sentence. 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Dodge County Sheriff’s Office, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, Racine Police Department, United States Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, Hartford Police Department, and Federal Deposition Insurance Corporation – Office of Inspector General, with the assistance of the Wisconsin Department of Justice –Division of Criminal Investigation, Watertown Police Department, Milwaukee Police Department and United States Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations.

The case has been assigned to Assistant United States Attorneys Erica J. Lounsberry and Richard G. Frohling for prosecution.  

The public is cautioned that an indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

For Additional Information Contact:

Public Information Officer Kenneth Gales 414-297-1700

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Updated December 11, 2019