Strip-Club Owner Hid $12 Million in Trash Bags

Topless bar owner allegedly failed to pay millions of dollars in taxes on his, ahem, booty

By Sandra Torres
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 2:33 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 20: A stripper dances at the Deja Vu Showgirls Club on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter September 20, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. A few businesses have reopened in the French Quarter as the clean up continues in areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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The owner of a series of popular topless bars in the Chicagoland area is in some deep trouble with the federal government.

Michael G. Wellek,63, is facing federal charges for allegedly failing to pay millions of dollars in taxes on $12 million in cash in an Elk Grove Village warehouse, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Wellek owned and operated Heavenly bodies in Elk Grove Village, Skybox in Harvey and Cowboys in Markham, Illinois.

Investigators say they found piles of bags and boxes full of cash marked by date in the warehouse, according to the Sun-Times. Wellek argues the cash was taken there for counting but it was going to be deposited later.

The government does not believe Wellek, and accuse him of failing to file tax returns between 1989 to 1999, and dodging, lying and obstructing an investigation by IRS agents. Court records also indicate he failed to report $3.5 million in income in 2000.

Wellek's attorney says his client will plead guilty to the charges.

If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison for each charge.

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