CHICAGO – The brother of Chicago Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher and nine others, including a police officer, have been charged with operating an offshore sports gambling business, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
Casey Urlacher, the mayor of the Illinois village of Mettawa, is accused in U.S. District Court of conspiracy and running an illegal gambling business. Prosecutors allege that Urlacher and the others ran a ring that raked in millions of dollars.
Prosecutors said the 40-year-old Urlacher acted as an agent for the gambling ring. He is accused of recruiting bettors in exchange for a cut of their eventual losses.
Brian Urlacher wasn’t named in the indictment.
“I don’t know nothing about it,” Urlacher told the Chicago Sun-Times when asked about the charges.
Casey Urlacher played football at Lake Forest College and the Arena Football League before entering politics. He was elected mayor of Mettawa, a village of about 550 people, in 2013.
The indictment also accuses 42-year-old Nicholas Stella, an 18-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, of acting as an agent. Stella has been stripped of his police powers.
“Those who enforce the law should understand more than anyone the importance of following the law,” police Superintendent Charlie Beck said Thursday. “The allegations against suspended police officer Nicholas Stella are very serious and if proven, they undermine everything the men and women of the Chicago Police Department represent.”
The indictment alleges the ring was headed by Vincent DelGiudice, 54, of Orland Park, who paid a Costa Rica-based sportsbook a service fee to use its online platform and recruited gamblers to place wagers on the website. DelGiudice hired people to act as agents and enlist gamblers.
Prosecutors say federal agents searched DelGiudice’s home in April 2019 and turned up more than $1.06 million in cash, $347,895 in silver bars and jewelry, and $92,623 in gold coins. Prosecutors are seeking an $8 million judgment against DelGiudice, who is charged with conspiracy to conduct an illegal gambling business, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering.
Also charged were Matthew Knight, 46, of Mokena, Justin Hines, 40, of Algonquin, Keith D. Benson, 49, of Lemont, Todd Blanken, 43, of Cary, Matthew Namoff, 23, of Midlothian and Vasilos Prassas, 37, of Chicago.
It wasn’t immediately known if DelGiudice, Stella or the others charged have obtained legal representation.
Source: The Daily Chronicle