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Late Millionaire’s Secretary Reveals Gifts Given to Other Women

June 6, 1990

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ An elderly businessman who gave more than $1 million to twins who posed for Playboy also lavished other young female companions with expensive gifts, his former secretary testified Tuesday.

Shirley Schlodter, secretary for David Kritzik from 1972 to 1988, said her late boss provided money and costly gifts, such as a condominium, to at least five others.

Ms. Schlodter testified during the second day of former Playboy model Leigh Ann Conley’s trial in U.S. District Court on four misdemeanor counts of failing to file federal income taxes.

The government alleges Ms. Conley, 35, failed to pay taxes on $398,000 she received during a four-year relationship with the suburban Milwaukee businessman who died last year at age 89.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of four years in prison and $325,000 in fines. The trial, which opened Monday, is expected to last a week.

Ms. Conley’s twin sister, Lynnette Harris, was convicted May 5 of evading taxes on $686,000 she received from Kritzik in a case the prosecution described as a sex-for-pay scheme. Ms. Harris, who faces sentencing July 25, could receive a maximum of 12 years in prison and a $625,000 fine. Her lawyer, Dennis Coffey, said the verdict will be appealed.

The identical blondes, who grew up in Milwaukee, appeared nude in Playboy magazine and in two films, ″I, the Jury,″ and ″Sorceress.″

The government alleges Kritzik paid money to the twins for arranged relationships and the twins were obligated to report the money as taxable income.

Ms. Schlodter testified that 36 checks presented as government evidence were written and deposited by Kritzik but endorsed with Ms. Conley’s name. Kritzik also wrote checks to other female companions, but Ms. Schlodter said she did not know if he similarily endorsed those checks.

Ms. Schlodter’s testimony came after Lee A. Jones, a claim representative for State Farm Insurance, testified that Ms. Conley told him in 1988 she had filed income taxes the previous three years. Jones said Ms. Conley also estimated her income at $30,000 to $35,000 a year.

Much of Tuesday’s morning proceedings was held outside the jury presence as defense and prosecution wrangled over the admissibility of government evidence.

Kritzik, who reputedly gave both sisters more than $1.1 million, founded General Merchandise Co. in the 1930s. The company became one of the world’s largest mail order companies. As part of the company, Kritzik later founded Treasure Island Discount Store Chain.

He sold General Merchandise to J.C. Penny Co. in 1962 for $11 million.

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