By Nate Raymond
NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. authorities announced charges on Wednesday against a former Drug Enforcement Administration supervisor and a technology specialist at the agency for failing to disclose their ownership stake in a New Jersey strip club.
David Polos and Glen Glover, the DEA employees, made false statements to the government by not disclosing they were part owners of Twins Plus Go-Go Lounge in South Hackensack, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan.
The club features scantily clad and sometimes topless women, many of whom were undocumented immigrants illegally in the United States, the complaint said.
Prosecutors said the men did not disclose their role at the club during 2011 background checks conducted to discover any outside employment that could create concerns about their proximity to crime or their risk of being blackmailed.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said the men kept their jobs secret from the DEA, "betraying the oaths they had taken and creating needless risk for the agency they worked for."
Both men surrendered to the FBI early on Wednesday and were expected to appear in court later in the day.
Avraham Moskowitz, Polos' lawyer, said his client "intends to fight the unwarranted charges and looks forward to being exonerated." A lawyer for Glover did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The case was unveiled a month after the Obama administration announced that Michele Leonhart, the DEA's administrator, would step down after being grilled by a congressional panel about sex parties attended by agents in Colombia with prostitutes funded by drug cartels.
Although the latest case is separate from those incidents, it marked another embarrassment for the agency. A spokeswoman for the DEA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Prosecutors said Polos, 51, was until April an assistant special agent-in-charge who supervised the New York Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Strike Force and who previously oversaw Glover, 45, an information technology specialist.
Prosecutors said Glover was also a the part owner of the club, while Polos had a convertible ownership interest in it.
Both men also worked regular shifts at the club – dealing with employment matters, advertising for the club and manning the back office, among other tasks.
The two men at times attended to club matters during DEA work hours, prosecutors said, and were aware that many dancers -who sometimes engaged in sexual acts with patrons and staff -were in the country illegally.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)