An Edgerton man who ran the Warriors & Wizards Festival in Jefferson is facing a felony theft charge and a civil lawsuit, both alleging he owes tens of thousands of dollars for festival-related costs.
Scott W. Cramer, 59, of 105 N. Catlin St., Edgerton, was charged Thursday in Jefferson County Court with theft by false representation.
The charge carries maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and a fine between $10,000 and $100,000.
Cramer brought Harry Potter Fest to Edgerton in 2015 and moved it to Jefferson two years later under the name Warriors & Wizards Festival.
Cramer had asked Edgerton to pay about $100,000 in festival expenses. Edgerton declined, and Cramer then entered into an agreement with Jefferson.
The city of Jefferson filed a lawsuit in May, alleging HP Fans, a Jefferson company Cramer owns, entered into an agreement in which the company agreed to run the festival last Oct. 19-21.
Jefferson agreed to pay $25,000 for marketing and provide police, fire and ambulance services, and HP Fans was to reimburse all those costs, but it never did, according to the lawsuit.
HP Fans paid only $6,000 and owes a balance of $33,183, the lawsuit alleges.
Jefferson City Manager Tim Freitag told The Gazette the city council voted early this year to end its association with the festival, and he doesn’t expect it to return to the city.
“The city and HP Fans had an agreement for conduct of the festival, and we considered them to be in breach of that agreement and by virtue of the fact that there’s a lot of unpaid bills,” Freitag said Friday.
Freitag said the last he heard, the city was unable to find Cramer to serve the lawsuit on him.
The criminal complaint alleges Cramer:
- Used his mother’s credit card and another credit card to pay for rooms at the Country Inn & Suites in Fort Atkinson for guests of the festival. When guests started checking out, the cards maxed out, and the hotel was left with $8,311 in unpaid charges.
Cramer told police he thought the charges would not exceed $3,500 and would be covered by the two cards he authorized.
- Issued a $3,500 worthless check in October on the account of HP Fans to Jefferson Area Business Center to rent festival space at the center.
- Issued a $4,130 check Oct. 18 for use of Jefferson County Fair Park to rent festival space. The check was returned for insufficient funds.
- Issued a $940 check to CMC Media for advertising on 104.5 Country WSLD-FM. The check was returned for insufficient funds.
- Issued a check Oct. 12 for $14,115 to Red Square Audio for audio, visual and lighting services at the festival, and Red Square discovered there were inadequate funds to cover the check.
- Issued a check Oct. 18 for $15,000 to Kobussen Buses for shuttle services at the festival. The check was returned for insufficient funds.
- Booked rooms for the festival at the AmericInn in Jefferson with a credit card, and the card was declined for payment of $4,310. The owner contacted Cramer, who promised to provide a different credit card, but Cramer never followed through.
- Used a credit card that was rejected for payment of $499 for cheese baskets and a floral arrangement from the Wine and Roses store in Jefferson for actors and a talent agent attending the festival.
Police obtained records from Fort Community Credit Union that the HP Fans checking account dropped from $10,071 on Oct. 17 to a negative balance of $17,218 on Oct. 19.
The complaint also discusses another HP Fans checking account whose balance dropped from $21,302 on Oct. 1 to a negative $160 on Oct. 31.
That same account showed a transfer of $8,378 from the HP checking to its savings account on Oct. 17 and the issuance of a cashier’s check for the same amount from the savings account, according to the complaint.
Later in the month, the HP Fans checking account received eight checks, all returned for insufficient funds, totaling $42,976.
The complaint does not clarify whether the bad checks issued on the HP Fans account included those listed earlier in this story.
Cramer’s initial court appearance on the criminal charge is scheduled for Monday,July 15.
Scott and is brother Rob Cramer also owned Depot Café in Edgerton, which they closed in 2017, telling The Gazette at the time that they had to concentrate on a 10-unit mall building they had bought in Jefferson.