Middleton bar owners admit to skimming over $260,000 from gaming machines

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Two bar owners in Middleton pleaded guilty to skimming profits from gambling machines Thursday.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Dudley Hellenbrand, 67, and Cherie Hellenbrand, 45 have owned and operated Middleton Sport Bowl since 1997.

According to the release, the two filed false tax returns that underrepresented their tax returns from the machines. From 2010 to 2017, the two reportedly skimmed a total of $268,852 from state and federal taxes.

The owners had contracted with a video gaming machine vendor for their bar. The two kept 75 percent of the profits, while the vendor kept the remaining 25 percent.

According to the release, the vendor was required to report income from the machines.

The Hellenbrands admitted at Thursday’s hearing that they did skim from the machines and did not report their state and federal income taxes.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, an undercover agent from the IRS posed as a customer to buy the bar, which had been listed for sale since 2017.

At a meeting, the owners admitted to the agent that they skimmed from the machines and falsified their tax returns.

They also told the agent that they kept the skimmed profits at their home and used the cash to pay for a car, vacations, landscaping and wages for some employees.

Sentencing for the Hellenbrands is set for Oct. 3 at the U.S. Courthouse in Madison.