Naperville theater owner released on $25,000 bail
The owner of the Hollywood Palms movie theater in Naperville, accused of owing the state more than $1.37 million in underreported taxes, was released Wednesday afternoon from the DuPage County jail.
Edwin C. "Ted" Bulthaup III, 57, is charged in two multicounty indictments with more than 100 felony counts related to the alleged tax fraud scheme. If convicted, he faces between four and 15 years in prison.
Judge Daniel Guerin ruled, following a source of bail hearing, that a third party would be allowed to post the $12,500 bail required in each of the two cases against Bulthaup.
Reached at his home Wednesday evening, Bulthaup denied the charges.
"In a just world with a just God, in an America that our forefathers thought of, everything will be OK and satisfactory when all is said and done," he said.
Assistant Illinois Attorney General Christina Chojnacki said during last week's bond hearing that Bulthaup underreported sales by a total of $18 million between 2009 and 2013 at the Naperville theater and Hollywood Blvd. theater in Woodridge, which he owned and operated until Feb. 10 of this year.
The Illinois Department of Revenue began investigating Bulthaup in February, when agents searched his businesses and seized records and computer information. Revenue department agents testified last week in front of a grand jury in DuPage County, which returned two indictments on multiple counts of felony tax evasion, fraud and failure to file tax returns before Bulthaup was arrested.
Officials said some of the tax liabilities mentioned in the two cases come from use taxes on items the business would buy to support its operations, such as a roll of tickets to sell to moviegoers or a computer on which to conduct ticket sales.
Despite the charges, Bulthaup said he's always put his business first.
"I know in my heart I have put myself last and I've put our customers, our employees, our vendors, my investors, people who trust me -- I've put them always, every single time, above my own interest," he said. "I will stand before God with that."
He is next due in court at 9 a.m. on Jan. 29.