Brian Urlacher’s brother charged in federal gambling indictment
Authorities allege Casey Urlacher, who also is the mayor of suburban Mettawa, helped run an illegal operation that included as many as 1,000 sports gamblers.
The envelope full of Casey Urlacher’s gambling debts allegedly made its way to Vincent “Uncle Mick” DelGiudice in Oak Brook on Dec. 21, 2018.
The bagman allegedly told the bookie, “This is Casey’s.”
But the feds say Casey Urlacher, the 40-year-old brother of Chicago Bears great Brian Urlacher and mayor of north suburban Mettawa, did more than pay his own debts. They say he tracked down the debts of others, helping DelGiudice run a multimillion-dollar illegal operation involving as many as 1,000 sports gamblers.
Now Casey Urlacher, DelGiudice and eight others have been charged in a 28-page federal indictment made public Thursday, detailing the scheme that revolved around a website called unclemicksports.com.
DelGiudice, 54, allegedly paid more than $10,000 a month to a company not named in the indictment for the use of that website. Gamblers used it to view odds, place bets on sporting events and monitor winnings and losses. He also allegedly found “agents” to help him recruit gamblers.
Also criminally charged for their roles in the scheme are Eugene “Gino” DelGiudice, 84, of Orland Park; Matthew “Sweaters” Knight, 46, of Mokena; Justin Hines, 40, of Algonquin; Keith D. Benson, 49, of Lemont; Todd Blanken, 43, of Cary; Nicholas Stella, 42, of Chicago; Matthew Namoff, 23, of Midlothian, and Vasilios Prassas, 37, of Chicago.
Casey Urlacher denied any knowledge of the gambling investigation when reached Thursday by the Chicago Sun-Times, and he said he didn’t know any bookie named DelGiudice. “I don’t know nothing about it,” Urlacher said. “I don’t know who you’re talking about.”
But the indictment alleges otherwise. It says Urlacher asked Vincent DelGiudice to create a log-in and password for a new gambler on the website on Dec. 16, 2018. DelGiudice allegedly did so, setting a $500 maximum bet, a $3,000 maximum wager for the week and a $1,000 settle-up figure.
On Dec. 21, 2018, Urlacher allegedly gave an envelope filled with gambling debts owed to DelGiudice to Prassas. That same day, Prassas allegedly passed an envelope filled with Urlacher’s gambling debts on to DelGiudice with the remark, “This is Casey’s.”
Urlacher also allegedly asked DelGiudice by phone on Dec. 26, 2018, to shut down a gambler’s account until the gambler paid a debt. That same day, after the gambler wired $3,000 to Urlacher, Urlacher allegedly texted DelGiudice and told him to turn the gambler’s account back on.
The feds also say Urlacher paid a gambling debt to DelGiudice on Feb. 1, 2019.
During a search of DelGiudice’s Orland Park home in April 2019, agents allegedly found 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.
DelGiudice is charged with one count of conspiracy to conduct an illegal gambling business, one count of conducting an illegal gambling business, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and six counts of money laundering.
His alleged agents, including Urlacher, are charged with one count of participating in the conspiracy and one count of running an illegal gambling business. Eugene DelGiudice is Vincent DelGiudice’s father.
Stella worked as a Chicago police officer for 18 years but was relieved of his police powers on May 13, 2019.
“Those who enforce the law should understand more than anyone the importance of following the law,” Interim Supt. Charlie Beck said in an emailed statement. “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.”
Prassas is the general manager of the Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse in Oak Brook. In a brief interview Thursday, he said he has been questioned in the investigation but has nothing to do with gambling. He said he knows some of the individuals charged, and it all amounts to guilt by association.
Prassas is the son of the late Christos Prassas, who owned Horwath’s Restaurant in Elmwood Park, a notorious mob hangout that closed in 2004.
Arraignments had not been set as of Thursday afternoon. Brian Urlacher didn’t return a telephone message seeking comment.
Casey Urlacher played football at NCAA Division III Lake Forest College, graduating in 2003. He had a brief tryout with the Bears that year and went on to play a couple of seasons in the Arena League.
According to his bio on the Lake Forest College website, “he then became an entrepreneur in the fields of real estate, restaurants, and construction before adding politics to his list of career endeavors.” He has been mayor of Mettawa since 2013 and made a failed bid for Illinois Senate in 2016, losing in the Republican primary.