A Warning To The Ignorant

A Warning To The Ignorant

Saturday, February 5, 2011

It Takes A Mighty Big Garter Belt To Hold $12M

Club Owner Sentenced For Hoarding $12 Without Paying Taxes

CHICAGO — A prominent Chicago-area strip club owner found with $12 million in cash has been sentenced to a year in prison for tax crimes.

A tearful Michael Wellek of Libertyville told a federal judge Friday that he took full responsibility for his actions. He'd faced a maximum sentence of six years.

Internal Revenue Service agents raided a warehouse near one club in 2003 and confiscated $12 million in cash stuffed in bags and boxes. Wellek argued in a 2004 lawsuit that he was holding the cash until he could count it.

The 63-year-old Wellek pleaded guilty in November to failing to file a tax return for 2000 and to obstructing the IRS. Prosecutors have said he didn't pay personal income taxes for several years while his clubs apparently generated hefty profits.

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