An Omaha woman has entered guilty pleas to a string of charges in a prostitution and money laundering conspiracy case. WOWT 6 News first broke the case last year.
Our reporter was inside federal court when Tammy L. Schuck entered the pleas to three counts: conspiracy to promote a prostitution enterprise and to induce interstate travel to engage in prostitution; inducing or attempting to induce interstate travel to engage in prostitution; and a conspiracy to launder money.
Schuck operated three spas -- the big one according to investigators was 93rd Street Spa.
The counts to which Ms. Schuck entered the guilty pleas carry the following potential penalties:
Authorities say that beginning approximately April 2008, and continuing to approximately January 2012, Ms. Schuck operated three spas in Omaha. They say that each spa was a front for prostitution. The majority of customers received sex acts from workers, rather than legitimate spa services, in exchange for money.
Ms. Schuck and other workers had sessions with customers during which they provided sex acts in exchange for money. Some customers traveled to the spas from Iowa and from other states to obtain sex acts for money. Customers paid a door fee depending on the length of the session and negotiated a separate tip with the workers for the sex act.
Prosecutors say Ms. Schuck and others acting at her direction deposited cash generated by the operation of the spas into Defendant’s business and personal bank accounts. Ms. Schuck also arranged for credit card revenues from operation of the spas to be deposited into both accounts.
Ms. Schuck placed advertisements for the spas on the Internet. She also helped create a Website for the spas accessible over the Internet, and periodically updated the Website. Established customers could access a Members Only section of the Website to read about the female workers providing services and view provocative pictures of them.
During the time when Ms. Schuck owned and managed the spas, there were an overall total of more than 20 workers providing commercial sex acts.
The original owner of the spas pleaded guilty earlier this year. William Knox was sentenced to one-year and one-day in federal prison.
Two others have already pleaded guilty.
Schuck's daughter Tabatha Ashburn is facing similar charges. In court, prosecutors said Schuck's deal is contingent on Ashburn making a similar plea.
Schuck will be sentenced in December.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Omaha Police Department and the Internal Revenue Service, under the auspices of the Child Exploitation Task Force, which also includes the Council Bluffs Police Department, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, the La Vista Police Department, the Mills County Sheriff’s Office and the Nebraska State Patrol.