Woodridge theater owner gets 5 years for $5M fraud scheme

A west suburban Woodridge cinema owner was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday for sales tax fraud and a bank fraud scheme that netted him nearly $5 million.

Ted Bulthaup, 59, pleaded guilty in July to sales tax evasion and financial institution fraud, according to the Illinois Attorney General’s office.

Between Jan. 2013 and Jan. 2014, Bulthaup underreported his taxable sales the Hollywood Blvd. in Woodridge and Hollywood Palms in Naperville, prosecutors said.

The Woodridge resident also underreported sales and gave inflated income figures between August 2011 and June 2013 to get loans from a First Community Bank branch in Plainfield, the US Small Business Administration and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, prosecutors said.

“Ted Bulthaup engaged in a pattern of lying about the financial condition of his company in order to secure approximately $4.8 million in refinancing for what was a failing business,” SBA Special Agent T.J. Gaylor said in a statement.

He owes about $2 million to the state, nearly $400,000 to the bank and more than $1 million to SBA, prosecutors said.