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The former mayor of an Illinois town reportedly allowed prostitution to operate out of a local strip club in exchange for money. The brother of the former mayor was recently convicted for his part in what the authorities said was a scheme that spanned years.
The former mayor of Harvey, Illinois, Eric Kellogg, was not named in federal documents, and he has apparently not been charged, according to NBC News.
However, his brother Rommell, 71, was found guilty on five counts on Monday, including "conspiracy to commit theft and intimidation and causing the use of facilities in interstate commerce to promote theft and intimidation," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
"Each count of conviction is punishable by up to five years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman did not immediately set a sentencing date," the release continued.
A criminal complaint against Rommell was filed in 2019, which stated that he was the brother of the "Mayor of the City of Harvey," a Chicago suburb. One of the attorneys for Rommell confirmed that his client was the brother of the former mayor, but he did not comment any further.
Eric apparently got out of office in the spring of 2019.
While Eric is not specifically mentioned in the report, he is identified as "Individual A" and has been accused of participating in the scheme. The complaint claimed that in 2003, Eric had demanded that the strip club pay him $3,000 a month in exchange for the ability to operate within the city, according to the Daily Mail.
The strip club made payments to Eric over the course of five years, according to the complaint. Rommell and their cousin Corey Johnson were responsible for collecting the case. As a consequence, prosecutors said that Rommell and Johnson conspired to demand and collect payment from the club and even threatened "that the city of Harvey would potentially interfere with the club's operations if the payments were not made."
At one point during the scheme, Johnson is believed to have gathered the money and delivered it to the former mayor, according to the complaint filed. Johnson pleaded guilty last month to a single theft charge.
Gal Gissetzky, Johnson's attorney, said via email on Friday: "Mr. Johnson pled guilty to a misdemeanor of receiving government funds. The government’s sentencing recommendation is a sentence of not longer than 6 months, we will see probation."
“We are very pleased with this fair resolution for the case.”
However, sometime in 2007 or 2008, Eric demanded the club increase the payments to $6,000. When the club initially refused to pay the increased amount, a Harvey police officer apparently ordered the club to be shut down.
The scheme was ultimately uncovered in October 2017 when law enforcement showed up to the establishment on suspicion of prostitution and tax crimes. From December 2017 to May 2018, the club reportedly paid around $37,000 to operate.
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