Blackjacks to lose liquor license, owners face prison

Updated 4/6/2012 3:51 PM
  • The fate of Blackjacks Gentlemen's Club on Route 25 between Elgin and St. Charles should become clearer in the next several weeks.

      The fate of Blackjacks Gentlemen's Club on Route 25 between Elgin and St. Charles should become clearer in the next several weeks. Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

The future of Blackjacks Gentlemen's Club near South Elgin and St. Charles appears to be in jeopardy.

Its two owners face prison time when they are sentenced May 22 for federal tax evasion and operating an illegal gambling website.

And a Kane County Committee Thursday voted to reduce the number of liquor licenses in the county by one -- that being the one that belonged to Blackjacks, which frequently advertises itself as the only strip club in the suburbs with a full liquor bar.

Dominic Buttitta, 69, of South Barrington, and his son, Anthony Buttitta, 42, of St. Charles, 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.

They 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.

The guilty pleas came in the first court appearance after U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald announced charges against the pair earlier this year.

The Buttittas are free on bond until their sentencing, at which they could face up to 10 years in prison.

According to the plea agreement, the Buttittas have agreed to pay the IRS about $1.3 million that would have been collected on the $3.7 million in dancer "house fees."

The agreement does not address whether the club at 7N657 Route 25, between St. Charles and Elgin, will be shut down.

A phone message for David D. Henderson Sr., the defense attorney for Dominic Buttitta, was not returned, nor was a message for Kevin Bolger, Anthony Buttitta's attorney.

Randall Samborn, spokesman for Fitzgerald's office, said the office does not comment on pending cases.

On Thursday, members of the Kane County Board's Executive Committee voted to reduce the number of county liquor licenses by one. County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay said the owners of Blackjacks have decided to give up their license. A binding vote by the full county board to reduce the number of liquor licenses is expected Tuesday.

The voice mail system at Blackjacks would not accept phone messages.

• Staff writer James Fuller contributed to this story.

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