JEFFERSON — The organizer of Jefferson’s Warriors and Wizards Festival has pleaded not guilty to issuing more than $50,000 in bounced checks and declined credit card authorizations related to the 2018 event.
Scott W. Cramer, 59, of Edgerton, briefly appeared in Jefferson County Circuit Court Monday morning accompanied by his attorney, Scott Wales of Milwaukee, who entered the plea for Cramer.
A change of plea in sentencing hearing will take place Thursday, Nov. 14, at 8:30 a.m.
Cramer, the owner of HP Fans Inc., said little in court on Monday, only telling Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge William Gruber that his Edgerton residence has not changed.
Cramer is charged with theft-false representation greater than $10,000, but not exceeding $100,000. He faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $25,000 if convicted.
Formerly referred to as the Harry Potter Festival USA, the event was rebranded to the Warriors and Wizards Festival in 2018, taking place Oct. 19-21. It had been held the previous two years in Jefferson (2017) and Edgerton (2016).
Cramer also faces a civil lawsuit from the City of Jefferson for his failure to reimburse the city for its investment in Warriors and Wizards Fest.
Under the contract with the city, Cramer or HP Fans Inc. was to reimburse the city for its initial $25,000 investment toward marketing expenses for the festival, held in October 2018, as well as for the city’s expenditures related to hosting the event, such as wages, materials and supplies for various municipal departments employed over the three days.
According to the criminal complaint, Cramer issued bad checks or had credit cards declined for services needed to run all aspects of Warriors and Wizards fest.
From October to December of 2018, bad checks and credit card payments were given to the Jefferson Area Business Center, Bon Ton Bakery, Jefferson County Fair Park, 104.5 Country WSLD FM, Red Square Audio, Kobussen Buses, Americinn, Wine and Roses retail store and Country Inn and Suites.
In total, more than $50,000 in goods and services provided by Jefferson County businesses and government weren’t paid for, according to the criminal complaint.
In a number of these incidents, Cramer reportedly admitted to Detective Leah Meyer of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office that he had issued the bad checks. Cramer’s signature also matches that on several of the checks, and the last four numbers of a credit card used by Cramer are the same in a number of cases, according to the complaint.