Posted on: September 30, 2021, 08:36h.
Last updated on: September 30, 2021, 09:14h.
An Illinois State University student who acted as the on-campus arm of a sprawling illegal betting ring has been spared prison by a federal judge, The Chicago Sun Times reports.
Matthew Namoff, 25, was instead fined $10,000 and sentenced to six months’ home confinement. He recruited dozens of students into a price-per-head bookmaking scheme run by Vincent “Uncle Mick” DelGiudice.
Namoff was the youngest member of the “massive” illegal betting enterprise. Also among its ranks were rogue Melrose Park, Ill. police officer John Amabile, and small-town mayor Casey Ulracher.
Ulracher is the brother of Chicago Bears great Brian Urlacher. He was pardoned by outgoing President Donald Trump in January, meaning he will not face charges for illegal gambling.
Conscious Business Decision
The court heard that Namoff managed around 60 gamblers at ISU. While authorities have not fully recovered betting records for the campus wing of the operation, documents that were available as evidence revealed students owed Namoff a minimum of $20,000.
Federal prosecutors said DelGiudice made a conscious business decision to infiltrate the campus, because he knew the students would eventually leave college, get good jobs, and increase their bets.
Namoff’s lawyer, Darryl Goldberg, said his client was suffering from a then-undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder. That was allegedly triggered by a violent robbery that happened shortly before he got involved in the operation.
Goldberg added Namoff saw gambling and his association with DelGiudice as a way to impress his peers and socialize more successfully.
He also noted that the relatively small individual bets placed by students “paled in comparison” to those managed by other members of the operation, including Urlacher, who had been pardoned by a US president.
His client should be spared prison “to avoid disparate treatment under the law, whether this Honorable Court believes Mr. Urlacher’s pardon was appropriate or not,” he said.
DelGiudice pleaded guilty in February to gambling conspiracy and money laundering. He faces up to five years on the first count and 20 years on the second. No sentencing date has yet been scheduled.
The 55-year-old from Orland Park ran the operation for three years to 2019. Prosecutors said DelGiudice was caught on an FBI wiretap telling an associate he had more than 1,000 bettors on his books.
Federal agents found $1.1 million in banknotes and another $500,000 in jewelry and bars of pure silver when they raided his home.
DelGiudice’s elderly father, Eugene “Geno” DelGiudice, 86, pleaded guilty to aiding the operation by collecting debts from gamblers and paying out winnings. He was handed a three-month home incarceration sentence earlier this month.