Illinois Strip Club Paid Mayor to Allow Prostitution for Years, U.S. Says

The mayor of a city in Northern Illinois allegedly threatened to shut down a local strip club if they didn’t pay him a monthly fee. Prosecutors claim that the strip club allowed prostitution in a private area and the mayor demanded $3,000 a month to allow it to stay open. The club eventually gave in to the demand and even doubled their payment to $6,000 per month. This scheme lasted for 15 years and recently resulted in the conviction of the mayor’s brother. The former mayor has not been charged, but records show that he held office from 2003 to 2019. It is unclear if additional charges will be brought against him. The strip club operated under the agreement that as long as they paid the mayor, they could continue allowing prostitution. The club was searched in 2017, leading to a temporary closure, but it later reopened with instructions not to allow prostitution but to continue making payments to the mayor. Phone conversations between the club’s manager and the mayor’s brother were recorded as part of the investigation. In one conversation, the brother expressed a desire to stop participating in the scheme, but the mayor’s cousin insisted that he continue.
The mayor of Harvey, Illinois, and his brother have been implicated in a scheme to extort money from a local strip club in exchange for allowing it to operate. The mayor, Rommell Kellogg, faces up to 25 years in prison for his role in the conspiracy. His brother, Corey Johnson, pleaded guilty to a theft charge. The scheme reportedly lasted for 15 years, during which the club paid the mayor $3,000 per month, eventually increasing to $6,000 per month. The club was allowed to operate and engage in prostitution as long as it made these payments. The investigation began in 2017, and federal agents discovered evidence of tax crimes and prostitution during a search of the club. The authorities tapped the phones of Johnson and Kellogg, and recorded conversations revealed their involvement in the extortion scheme. Sentencing dates for the defendants have not been set, and it is unclear if the former mayor, Eric Kellogg, will face charges in the case.

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