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Wedelstedt Arrested in Dallas

Dallas- He’s considered the biggest pornography dealer in the country, and Monday federal authorities arrested him in Dallas on charges he sold obscene material and ran a criminal enterprise.

Edward Joseph Wedelstedt, the owner of Goalie Entertainment, was indicted on 23 counts of obscenity, racketeering and tax charges. Wedelstedt ran his porn business out of Colorado, but operated stores in 18 states including Texas.

According to an indictment obtained by News 8 and The Dallas Morning News, Wedelstedt “allegedly conducted a criminal enterprise with the principal aim of distributing obscenity and mailing fraudulent sales taxes returns.”

Pornography is big business in North Texas, though it’s not illegal unless it’s ruled obscene. Authorities said as part of the indictment, a grand jury viewed six videotapes and DVDs that jurors found to be obscene. They described it as hard-core pornography.

Edward Wedelstedt Assistant attorney general Christopher Wray said, “effective use of law enforcement’s full arsenal is essential to stop purveyors of obscenity from distributing their offensive and degrading material.”

Wedelstedt denies he sells anything obscene, and said he gives some of the money he makes to charity. In fact, he started his own charity called “Eddie’s Kids”, and according to his Web site he financially helps underprivileged and abused children.

Still, federal authorities said Wedelstedt is not a pillar of his community, but a pornographer who panders criminal material.

The Denver Post reports: A federal grand jury in North Texas has indicted a Denver-based pornographer and six associates, accusing them of underpaying sales taxes and distributing obscene movies to stores in 18 states.

Edward Wedelstedt, 62, who heads Goalie Entertainment, a porn empire run out of a building near I-70 in Denver, faces racketeering, obscenity and tax evasion charges that are outlined in a 54-page indictment issued Friday.

Goalie admits that it is one of the largest distributors of adult entertainment in the country. But Wedelstedt’s lawyer, Henry Asbill, scoffed at the indictment, saying it was an attempt by a new regime at the U.S. Justice Department to take a swipe at his client after the federal government’s tax investigation of Wedelstedt went nowhere.

“He distributes adult movies to consenting adults in adult-only stores,” said Asbill, who is based in Washington, D.C. “It’s legal.”

The indictment is laced with titles of porno flicks too racy to print and detailed allegations of how Wedelstedt dealt in cash. On one occasion, he is accused of flying to Dallas in a Learjet and going to one of his regional offices with an empty black bag. When he left, it was filled with cash, the indictment said.

The indictment detailed how the businesses, supported by arcades where customers could watch pornographic movies in private booths, dealt in significant amounts of cash.

Wedelstedt also kept large amounts of cash in a safe at his home and in safety deposit boxes, the indictment said. He is accused of conducting transactions in such a way that the enterprise’s true revenues were obscured.

Asbill said the evidence will show that Wedelstedt’s companies actually paid more than their fair share in taxes.

Prosecutors are attempting to seize at least $48 million in proceeds acquired over the last dozen years and all shares of stock owned by Wedelstedt and his companies. They also are seeking the Learjet and property in Denver, Iowa, Texas and South Dakota.

Indicted along with Wedelstedt were his wife, Vivian Lee Schoug, and several business associates.

Luke Lirot, a lawyer who routinely represents adult entertainment operators, said Wedelstedt is well-known in the industry. Lirot called him a good businessman with a philanthropic soul.

Wedelstedt’s nonprofit foundation, called Eddie’s Kids, has given thousands of tickets to Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche games to poor children, Lirot said.

During conventions for porn executives, Wedelstedt would pressure his peers to donate to his foundation, said Lirot, based in Tampa, Fla.

 

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