(Clyman) The former owner and a manager at a shuttered Dodge County strip club have been indicted on federal sex trafficking charges. Michael Seigel of Fox Lake used to own the Hardware Store in Clyman, which Scott Hoeft of Watertown managed. Count one alleges that Siegel and Hoeft conspired to use the club to promote, manage, and carry out prostitution between 2009 and 2018. Count Two alleges that in April of 2018 Siegel made false statements to law enforcement investigating human trafficking offenses.
According to the indictment, revenue was generated at the Hardware Store by making the club’s lap dance and champagne rooms available for prostitution. The indictment alleges that as a part of the conspiracy, Hoeft and Siegel hired and employed dancers willing to perform illegal acts, including women that they knew were working for pimps. Prosecutors says the suspects sent text messages and used Facebook Messenger to communicate with dancers and pimps. In addition, customers were allowed to use credit cards to obtain cash to pay dancers directly for illegal acts.
US Attorney Matthew Krueger says the charges send a warning to any business owner who works with a pimp to facilitate illegal prostitution. Krueger says when a pimp is involved, women are often being trafficked by force, fraud, and coercion.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Hughes, of the Milwaukee Field Office says the collaborative efforts of the FBI, working closely with local law enforcement, makes it possible to bring offenders to justice who work with pimps who victimize women.
Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt says the charges brought against Siegel and Hoeft send a strong and clear message that such criminal activity will not be tolerated and authorities will use all resources available to hold offenders accountable.
If convicted of count one, Siegel and Hoeft faces up to five years in prison. If convicted of count two, Siegel would face up to eight years in prison. Each count of conviction also carries a maximum fine of $250-thousand dollar fine and a maximum term of three 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.