Cherie and Dudley Hellenbrand, owners of Middleton Sports Bowl, a bowling alley and sports bar in Wisconsin, pleaded guilty to underreporting the sales receipts from video gambling machines they had installed in their business in 2010.
The Hellenbrands scheme came to light when they admitted to a potential buyer of the business that they did not report all the sales from the machines. They said that the company that provided the machines gave them receipts with whatever amount they wanted to report to the IRS. The potential buyer was an IRS criminal investigation special agent working undercover.
The case ultimately included four others, employees and owners of Global Vending, the company that provided the machines to the business, along with false receipts, in exchange for 25% of the true profit.
The Hellenbrands used the money skimmed from the machines for cars, vacations, $40,000 on landscaping and to pay some employees in cash.
They were found guilty of a tax loss of $268,852.04 for the years 2010 to 2017 and were each sentenced to six months in prison.