The sports betting world was recently caught off-guard as a famous name appeared in an unsealed indictment in the Northern District of Illinois.
Not Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher, but his brother Casey Urlacher, a small-town mayor in Illinois, was one of 10 names associated with an illegal betting ring.
According to the indictment, an unnamed company in Costa Rica was running an online wagering platform called www.unclemicksports.com. This site isn’t like other off-shore sportsbooks as it allowed U.S.-based gamblers to wager with a bookmaker in the United States via the Costa Rican site.
Who is Uncle Mick?
It is alleged in the indictment that Vincent Delgiudice, aka “Uncle Mick,” operated a multi-million dollar illegal gambling business based in the greater Chicagoland area. In fact, this illegal sportsbook accepted wagers from over 1,000 gamblers on sporting events, including football, baseball as well as college and professional basketball.
The indictment states that in exchange for over $10,000 a month, the Costa Rican company allowed Delgiudice the website www.unclemicksports.com, which he used to manage his own sportsbook.
Bettors were recruited and then provided with usernames and passwords where the bettors would place their bets. The website was used as a front as the indictment alleges that Delgiudice transacted almost entirely in cash with several other agents, including Casey Urlacher.
These agents were then compensated based on their recruited gamblers’ losses.
Uncle Mick’s Crime
The indictment also states that Delgiudice kept gambling records, cash, and even gold bars in his Orland Park, Illinois home. Not only that, agents who owed Delgiudice money could make payments elsewhere, including for his children’s college tuition.
In addition to payments made directly to Delgiudice, gamblers and/or agents were also able to make payments via cashiers check to businesses operated by the mystery Costa Rican company. Going as far as FedEx-ing the cashiers checks down to Costa Rica as payment for the Uncle Mick Sports site. Basically, they were old-school bookies using new-school tech.
While much of the indictment is focused on Delgiudice, it is illustrative of the wide reach of federal conspiracy provisions as well as the Illegal Gambling Business Act.
This Isn’t Over Either
There are a few indications that there could be more indictments to come. For instance, the decision not to name the Costa Rican company is telling as this may indicate that there is another investigation already underway.
There were also many individuals identified as numbers that were not named, only listed as having an association with Costa Rica.
Another aspect to consider is that on at least one occasion, there was reference to telephone communications. The absence of a Wire Act count or counts in the indictment might suggest there was either low confidence in scoring a conviction or that there is, in fact, for more to come.
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