Casey Urlacher, the brother of Chicago Bears legend Brian Urlacher, was charged for allegedly working with an offshore sports gambling ring on Thursday.
The indictment accused 10 people, including Urlacher, of crimes such as conspiracy and running an illegal gambling business.
The gambling ring reportedly brought in tens of thousands of dollars from 2016-2019. It targeted gamblers in the Chicago area specifically.
Sports betting has been legalized in Illinois, but the state is still trying to come to market.
Urlacher is currently the mayor of Mettawa Illinois, which is a small village north of Chicago. It’s home to less than 600 people.
Before his time as mayor, Urlacher tried out for the Chicago Bears. He ultimately failed to make the team but went on to play Arena Football before starting his political career.
The indictment does not mention Brian Urlacher.
What exactly is Urlacher accused of doing?
According to the federal indictment, Urlacher was basically a recruiter for the gambling ring.
As an “agent” for the operation, it was his job to bring in new gamblers. Urlacher and the other agents may have received a percentage of the losses from the bettors they recruited.
Vincent DelGiudice ran the operation, and went by the name Uncle Mick. DelGiudice paid a sportsbook based in Costa Rica a fee to use its online platform. Then he hired recruiters to gather new gamblers for the site.
The recruiters worked with DelGiudice to collect payments and send out winnings from the site www.unclemicksports.com. Urlacher may have been one of them.
The group was in regular communication with each other using encrypted messages. They were hoping to avoid detection by using coded language.
The indictment also mentions a meeting between Urlacher and DelGiudice. Allegedly, Urlacher paid DelGuidice money from the gambling ring at that meeting.
It isn’t known exactly how many bettors used the site. However, DelGiudice did tell one of his employees in early 2019 that the site had over 1,000 bettors.
DelGiudice’s home was searched in early 2019. At the time, federal agents seized over $1 million in cash and almost $500,000 worth of jewelry and other goods.
The indictment has charged DelGiudice with gambling conspiracy, money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Possible prison time for Urlacher and others involved
Arraignments haven’t been scheduled yet by the US District Court where the indictment was filed.
Urlacher and the others involved in the case could be facing prison time. Both charges against Urlacher have a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Urlacher denied any involvement in the gambling ring when asked by the Chicago Sun-Times.
The other defendants in the case are facing similar charges.
DelGiudice is facing more serious charges since he was allegedly running the operation. He could potentially spend up to 20 years in prison for each charge.
Additionally, the indictment is seeking $8 million from DelGiudice for a personal money judgement.
Michael Frontier’s case is worth keeping an eye on
This is isn’t the first time that an illegal gambling ring like this has been based in Chicago.
Last year Chicago-native Michael Frontier found himself in a similar situation. Frontier also allegedly used a platform based in Costa Rica to operate a gambling ring of his own.
Just like DelGiudice, he hired recruiters to bring new gamblers to his site.
Although Frontier’s situation is ongoing, his trial may be an indicator of how prosecutors eventually decide to handle Urlacher’s case.
Frontier’s operation wasn’t as widespread as DelGiudice’s, but the charges against both men are nearly identical. That might mean that Frontier’s trial could become precedent for Urlacher’s situation.
Since the circumstances are so similar, it will at least provide a new glimpse at how gambling rings that use offshore platforms are handled in court.