Article posted: 9/7/2012 5:58 PM

Blackjacks owners sentenced for tax evasion, must repay $1.7 million

Blackjacks Gentlemenís Club between St. Charles and Elgin.

Blackjacks Gentlemen's Club between St. Charles and Elgin.


Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

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The father and son operators of Blackjacks Gentlemen's Club near Elgin were sentenced to prison Friday after pleading guilty to tax evasion and illegal gambling earlier this year.

Dominic Buttitta, 69, of South Barrington, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and his son, Anthony Buttitta, 42, of St. Charles, was sentenced to 30 months in prison. They were also ordered to repay $1.7 million.

They pleaded guilty in late February to hiding from the Internal Revenue Service some $3.7 million they collected from dancers in "house fees" from January 2002 through March 2010, according to court records.

The pair also pleaded guilty to operating three Costa Rica-based gambling sites and netting $400,000 from the operation. In February 2008, they collected $80,000 cash from an Elgin client who lost a bet on the Super Bowl XLII, court records show.

They faced up to 10 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Milton Shadur ordered both men to begin serving their sentences Jan. 8, 2013.

The sentences were announced by Gary S. Shapiro, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

The Buttittas admitted they skimmed approximately $3.7 million in cash from the operation of Blackjacks, and later destroyed records of the cash they diverted from the business, authorities said.

According to a plea agreement reached earlier this year, the Buttittas agreed to pay the IRS about $1.3 million that would have been collected had the "house fees" proceeds been reported as income. Authorities said the Buttittas also must forfeit $400,000 as well.

This past spring, a Kane County Board committee reduced the county's number of liquor licenses by one, that belonging to Blackjacks, 7N657 Route 25, between St. Charles and Elgin.

According to the club's website, it is still open for business.

The Buttittas must serve 85 percent of their prison sentences.

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