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updated: 2/3/2012 6:05 AM

Father, son owners of Elgin-area adult club charged with tax evasion

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The father and son owners of the Elgin-area Blackjacks Gentlemen's Club have been charged with under-reporting $3.7 million in income they collected from dancers and making $400,000 profit from three illegal gambling websites, federal officials announced Thursday.

Anthony Buttitta, 42, of St. Charles, and Dominic Buttitta, 69, of South Barrington, each were charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by obstructing the Internal Revenue Service and one count of operating an illegal gambling business, according to the Office of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

The men are due in court for a future arraignment date.

"They have not been arrested. They are not in custody. The arraignment has not been set," said Randall Samborn, spokesman for the Fitzgerald's office.

He declined to comment on what sparked the investigation or if federal authorities expected more charges against additional defendants.

"I would not say in this case that the investigation is ongoing," Samborn added.

The pair face up to five years in prison on each charge, along with a $250,000 fine and restitution, if convicted.

Efforts to reach the Buttittas were not immediately successful.

According to a federal complaint, the Buttittas owned and operated Blackjacks, an adult entertainment club on Route 25, from January 2002 through December 2009, collected $3.7 million in "house fees" from female dancers and destroyed the logbooks they used to keep track of the fees.

The income was concealed from their bookkeeper and the IRS, the complaint states, and the pair are accused of filing corporate tax returns from 2002 through 2009 and individual returns from 2002 through 2008 that "substantially underreported" their earnings.

Authorities say Anthony Buttitta used $400,000 in cash from 2005 through 2006 to build his St. Charles home, and that the pair used money for a $2.9 million condominium in Las Vegas and another condo in Costa Rica.

Authorities also are seeking the forfeiture of $400,000 that the pair are accused of making from 2005 through 2009 through three gambling websites.

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