According to an IRS news release, well-known Madison route operator Mary Lavine (Bullseye, Inc.) has pleaded guilty to underreporting income from a number of video gaming machines the company had placed in a number of bars. (Lavine ran Bullseye with another person who is now deceased.) The release did not mention names of any bars nor if anything might be charged against their owners.
As a result of “conspiring to defraud” both the IRS and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Chief U.S. Judge James D. Peterson sentenced Lavine to one year and one day in prison, imposed a $75,000 fine and ordered her to pay restitution of $834,769.65 to the IRS and $1,927,852.56 to the Wisconsin tax department. The judge also ordered her to serve a two-year term of supervised release following her prison term.
The IRS press notice reported that Levine admitted working with certain bar owners to “skim the cash receipts” generated from the gray games and not report 100% of the receipts to the tax collecting agencies. “This sentence will send a message to the business community that no special rules apply to cash businesses. It’s easy to cheat and skim cash, but it’s still taxable,” Judge Peterson added.
To date, the IRS said some other individuals have pleaded guilty as part of this criminal tax investigation, including a Dudley Hellenbrand and a Tom Laugen; both have gotten prison time and have to pay restitution.