The leader of an illegal sports gambling operation in the Chicago area has received an 18-month prison sentence. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
An extensive operation
The leader of an illegal sports betting operation in Chicago, Illinois has received an 18-month federal prison sentence.
US District Judge Virginia Kendall sentenced Vincent “Uncle Mick” DelGiudice on Wednesday. As well as the prison time, he also has to pay a significant forfeiture, which includes a $3.5m money judgment.
involved corruption from at least two police officers
Explaining her decision, Judge Kendall noted that the gambling ring had a foothold in Illinois State University and involved corruption from at least two police officers. Before the sentencing, DelGiudice issued an apology to his family and the judge, saying that his actions were wrong.
Unraveling of the gambling ring
In February 2021, DelGiudice pled guilty to money laundering and gambling conspiracy charges. He admitted that he led the gambling operation between 2016 and 2019 in the general vicinity of Chicago.
The federal authorities raided DelGiudice’s home in April 2019, finding more than $1m in cash, as well as expensive jewelry, gold bars, and a couple of cash-counting machines.
Prosecutors alleged last month that DelGiudice planned to keep the illegal gambling operation going even after the indictment in February 2020. However, his defense attorney claimed that the majority of gambling activity came to an end following the raid on DelGiudice‘s home.
About 1,000 gamblers used the illegal service operated by DelGiudice, with the ring handling millions of dollars during its active period.
Federal authorities described the operation as the biggest, longest-running, and most lucrative illegal gambling ring that the Chicago federal court has ever prosecuted. The operation allegedly generated over $8m in profit in 2018 alone.
In the process of their investigation, authorities discovered that the illegal gambling operation made use of a Costa Rica-based online sportsbook. In return, the organizers paid a $10,000 weekly service fee. Gamblers placed their bets directly through the platform.
DelGiudice employed agents to attract new gamblers and collect debts. One of the highest-profile alleged agents was Casey Urlacher, the brother of legendary Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher. Casey is the mayor of a small Chicago suburb. He received a pardon from former US President Donald Trump before his departure from the White House in January 2021.
the majority will not serve any prison time
Urlacher and eight other people received gambling conspiracy charges in February 2020. Authorities have charged a further three people since then, but the majority will not serve any prison time. The two main exceptions include former Chicago police officer Nicholas Stella, who received a 15-month prison sentence, and bookie Gregory Paloian, who got a 30-month sentence.