Chicago Area Bookie Pleads Guilty as Trump-Pardoned Mayor Connected to Case Seeks Re-Election

Posted on: February 7, 2021, 11:47h. 

Last updated on: February 8, 2021, 11:02h.

A Chicago area man pleaded guilty in a federal court last week to orchestrating an illegal bookmaking business over several years.

Chicago sports betting
Vincent Del Giudice walks out of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago on March 4, 2020. Last week, he pleaded guilty to two counts in connection to an illegal sportsbook he operated in the Chicago area. (Image: Associated Press)

Vincent “Uncle Mick” Del Giudice admitted Tuesday to two counts in a US District Court for the Northern District Court. He faces up to five years in prison for conducting an illegal gambling business. However, he could serve up to 20 years after his plea on conspiracy to commit money laundering.

According to the plea agreement, the sentencing guidelines indicate he could spend up to 27 months in federal prison, not including any time on supervised release or financial penalties. If US District Judge Virginia M. Kendall finds Del Giudice has accepted responsibility, then he could face between a year to 18 months behind bars.

Authorities expect to demand an $8 million forfeiture judgment against him. That’s beyond the $1.1 million in cash, $350,000 in silver and jewelry, a 2017 Lexus, and his Orland Park property. They also moved to take more than $90,000 in gold coins confiscated during a raid last year. Prosecutors say that figure covers his winnings during the three-year operation.

Del Giudice is expected to contest the forfeiture and seizure efforts.

When indicted nearly a year ago, Del Giudice faced nine charges. Prosecutors charged 10 people in the case.

No sentencing hearing has been set in the case, according to a release from the US Attorney’s Office. The next hearing will take place on March 8.

Multi-Million Chicago Operation

The 55-year-old Orland Park man said he ran an illegal sportsbook for three years through 2019. The intricate operation involved the use of more than five “agents” to recruit bettors, collect losses, and pay out winnings. Among those who helped was his elderly father, Eugene “Geno” Del Giudice, who took a plea last year and received a three-month home incarceration sentence.

Others who served as agents included Nicholas Stella, a Chicago cop currently in jail on domestic violence charges, and Casey Urlacher, mayor of Chicago suburb Mettawa and brother of Chicago Bears legend Brian Urlacher, who was not connected to the case. They were among the 10 people charged, although Urlacher was pardoned last month by then-President Trump.

The younger Del Giudice also ran an online sportsbook as part of the operation. That was connected to an unidentified company in Costa Rica. The defendant admitted he sent the company 12 cashier’s checks or money orders totaling more than $113,000 to handle administrative costs.

In all, authorities said the sportsbook had more than 1,000 patrons and became a multi-million dollar enterprise.

Pardoned Urlacher Seeks Another Mayoral Term

Fresh off his pardon, Urlacher late last month announced he would seek another term as the mayor of Mettawa.

He told Politico’s Illinois Playbook that he would run for re-election as a write-in candidate, having missed the deadline to get his name on the ballot for the April 6 race.

Even before I received a pardon, residents were encouraging me to run for reelection, to continue that progress. With the support of our residents, I made the decision that I would run for another term,” Urlacher said in a statement to Politico.

While elected, the mayoral position in the north suburban village of about 550 people is unpaid.

Urlacher was one of 143 people who received pardons or sentence commutations during Trump’s final hours as president. A White House statement indicated his friends, family, and “countless members” of the Mettawa community supported the pardon. He faced a conspiracy charge, as well as a charge of conducting an illegal gambling business.

“Throughout his life, Mr. Urlacher has been committed to public service and has consistently given back to his community… He is a devoted husband to his wife and a loving father to his 17-month old daughter,” the White House statement read.

The pardon was formally entered into the court records on Friday.