Gentlemen’s club owners sentenced to prison for tax fraud
Sun-Times Media Wire September 7, 2012 5:46PM
Updated: September 8, 2012 5:30PM
A father and son have been sentenced to federal prison for not paying taxes for employees at their northwest suburban gentlemen’s club and numerous offshore gambling websites they owned.
U.S. District Judge Milton Shadur sentenced Anthony Buttitta, 43, of St. Charles, to 30 months in prison and his father Dominic Buttitta, 69, of South Barrington, to 18 months in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. They were charged with conspiracy to defraud the IRS and operating an illegal gambling business.
They were also ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution to the IRS and forfeit an additional $400,000 to the government.
The Buttittas operated and managed Blackjacks Gentlemen’s Club in Elgin and an Internet gambling business — including skybook.com, largejoe.com and theredhotel.com — based out of Costa Rica between 2005 and 2009, a release from federal prosecutors said.
They filed false federal corporate tax returns from 2002 through 2009, and false federal income tax returns from 2002 through 2008, according to prosecutors. They under-reported about $4.5 million in income from the gentlemen’s club and gambling businesses, resulting in a federal tax loss of more than $1.3 million.
The men admitted to skimming about $3.7 million in cash from the gentlemen’s club and later destroying records of the cash, prosecutors said. They used the ill-gotten gains to try to buy a luxury condominium in Las Vegas and a home in Costa Rica, according to court papers.
They also admitted to putting members of the Internet gambling business on the payroll of another company to provide what appeared to be a legitimate source of income and benefits, the government said. In return, they received cash kickbacks they failed to report.
The Buttittas admitted receiving $1 million in bets between 2005 and 2009 that resulted in $400,000 profits — the amount of the forfeiture, the release said.
The men will begin serving their sentences Jan. 8 and remain liable for all back taxes and a civil fraud penalty of 75 percent, plus interest.