Ex-Illinois Cop Avoids Prison When Sentenced on Federal Gambling Charge

Posted on: August 22, 2021, 02:32h. 

Last updated on: August 22, 2021, 04:13h.

A former Illinois police officer has escaped prison in connection with a far-reaching gambling case, according to a published report.

John Amabile
Former Melrose Park, Ill. police officer John Amabile, pictured here. He was sentenced to six months of detention in his residence on a gambling charge. (Image: Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times)

One-time Melrose Park, Ill.  officer John Amabile, 33, could have faced up to five years in federal prison. Instead, he was sentenced to six months of detention in his residence.

Assistant US Attorney Terry Kinney urged that Amabile be sentenced to a year in prison. But the judge opted for leniency.

Kinney claimed Amabile was involved in an “organized-crime, big-time, big-stakes, manipulative gambling operation, ” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

On Thursday, Amabile told US District Judge Martha Pacold in Chicago federal court that he was “100 percent guilty.” In April, Amabile pleaded guilty to conducting an illegal gambling business, the report adds.

I will never put myself or my family through anything like this ever again,” Amabile added when addressing the judge.

Amabile allegedly ran the illegal sports bookmaking business in 2018 and 2019. It operated in Chicago, Elmwood Park, and Melrose Park.

Amabile last worked as an officer for the Melrose Park department in November 2020, the Sun-Times said. That was several months before he was arrested.

The judge also ordered him to pay $100,000 as part of a federal forfeiture.

Gregory Paloian Sentenced Earlier

Also charged in the case is Gregory Paloian, an alleged bookie with purported mob ties, the Sun-Times said. Kinney had described Amabile as a “key player and the top agent” in Paloian’s organization.

It further was revealed in the case that Amabile’s grandfather was once a reputed mob boss.

Previously, US District Judge Joan Lefkow sentenced Paloian to two and a half years in prison.

Website Involved in Operation

The gambling website involved in the operation was known as  Unclemicksports.com, the Sun-Times said.

Unclemicksports.com was involved in another gambling indictment that was filed last year. It named 10 suspects, including Vincent “Uncle Mick” DelGiudice and Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher.

Former President Donald Trump pardoned Urlacher, the brother of Chicago Bears player Brian Urlacher.

The indictment later meant a 15-month prison sentence for a Chicago police officer, Nicholas Stella, the Sun-Times said. Other defendants, Eugene DelGiudice and Todd Blanken, avoided prison time.

Blanken allegedly was a key player in what was described as a “multi-million dollar” Chicago-based gambling ring. In total, the ring involved more than 1,000 gamblers nationwide.

US District Judge Virginia Kendall sentenced Blanken, 44, formerly of Cary, Ill. to six months in a community center.

He can work while staying in the center. He was also given two years of probation, according to the Sun-Times.

Prosecutors claim Blanken was a “trusted runner” for the gambling ring and recruited gamblers. His day job was working in the arbitration office of the Cook County courts, prosecutors added.