Massive Sports Betting Ring Bust Ends Anticlimatically With a Probation Sentence

Written by:
Alejandro Botticelli
Published on:

It was being called one of the largest sports gambling ring busts ever and included allegations of preying on college students to a violent police officer and even a high profile pardon by former US President Donald Trump.

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On Tuesday, the final individual charged was handed a sentence of probation.

A prosecutor said Vasilios Prassas was victimized by Vincent “Uncle Mick” DelGiudice, the ringleader of the organization.  DelGiudice was accused of taking advantage of Prassas’ gambling problems and repeatedly forgave debts that “would have caused him to crash and burn.”

The 39-year-old Prassas was sentenced to probation and fined $20,000.  He was described as “a long-term but small agent”.

Prassas pleaded guilty to conspiracy earlier this year and admitted to recruited and managing gamblers for DelGiudice’s gambling business by directing plaers to DelGiudice’s website,

The brother of Chicago Bears great Brian Urlacher, Casey Urlacher, was among those pardoned in the final hours of President Donald Trump’s term as part of a flurry of clemency action that benefited more than 140 people.  Casey is the mayor of the tiny Chicago suburb of Mettawa.  Prosecutors said the 40-year-old Urlacher acted as an agent for the gambling ring.

Also charged and later sentenced was a Chicago police officer who allegedly destroyed phone that was sought for evidence in alleged attack on girlfriend. 

Nicholas Stella was charged for his role in the ring but during his hearing, prosecutors played a recorded 911 call placed by the girlfriend after the alleged attack at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Rosemont.

The woman on the call sounded distraught and out of breath. She said her boyfriend tried or threatened to kill her, choked her, stole her phone and ripped her clothes. She told the 911 operator, “he’s a cop,” and identified Stella by name.

“My boyfriend is literally like trying to kill me!” the woman said during the call.

Stella pleaded guilty last year to a charge of conspiring to conduct an illegal gambling business. U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall today sentenced Stella to 15 months in federal prison.

Matthew Namoff, 25, was accused of trying to recruit local university students to play at the sportsbook. He was sentenced to six months of home confinement and fined $10,000.

And finally, in March, U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall handed down the sentence of 18 months probation to the ringleader, DelGiudice. She also ordered him to pay a significant amount of forfeiture, including a $3.5 million money judgment.

- Alejandro Botticello, Senior Correspondent

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