Justin Hines is the latest defendant to plead guilty in a far-reaching illegal sports gambling case in Chicago federal court. It involved a multi-million-dollar gambling ring that allegedly was operated in and around Chicago by Vincent “Uncle Mick” DelGiudice.
Hines, 42, entered his plea before US District Judge Virginia Kendall earlier this week. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 7, 2022, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Hines was described as a key agent for the gambling operation, the report adds. He allegedly shared his winnings and losses with DelGiudice, the report said.
In total, 10 defendants were charged last year following an investigation into the gambling operation. Many of them avoided time in prison after entering guilty pleas.s
Defendant Casey Urlacher, who is mayor of Mettawa, Ill., was pardoned in January by President Donald Trump shortly before he left office.
Todd Blanken is also among the defendants who avoided spending time in prison. In June, he was sentenced to six months in a community center, also by Judge Kendall. He can work while staying in the center. He was also given two years of probation, the Sun-Times said.
DelGiudice has yet to be sentenced. He pled guilty in the case earlier this year to charges of gambling conspiracy and money laundering. The Sun-Times reported DelGiudice earned $8 million from the gambling ring.
DelGiudice allegedly recruited agents, such as Hines, for the gambling operation.
It was operated through the unclemicksports.com website. DelGiudice allegedly paid a Costa Rican company $10,000 a month for the site, the Sun-Times reported.
Cash, Silver, Jewels
A search of DelGiudice’s house in Orland Park, Ill. led to the seizure of more than $1.06 million in cash, silver bars, and jewelry valued at $347,895. Also seized were gold coins valued at $92,623.
In total, the ring involved over 1,000 gamblers nationwide, prosecutors said. The wagers were on pro and amateur sports events, prosecutors add. Wagers were made on baseball, basketball, football, hockey, as well as college sports, the Sun-Times said.
Last year, Kendall sentenced DelGiudice’s 85-year-old father, Eugene, to three months of home detention.
Another defendant, Chicago Police Officer Nicholas Stella, will serve time in prison, the Sun-Times said. Stella was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for his role as a top bookie.
One Defendant Suffers From Brain Cancer
Still another defendant, Gregory Paloian, was sentenced to two and a half years. But he later was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, WLS, a local TV station, reported.
Paloian was given compassionate relief by a judge, given the medical condition. He will enter prison on August 18, 2022, WLS reported.
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