Man who cooperated with feds against ‘Uncle Mick’ gambling ring cuts deal

Keith Benson admitted Tuesday that he took money for Vincent DelGiudice from Chicago to an unnamed individual in Las Vegas, who was then supposed to take it to Costa Rica to help fund DelGiudice’s gambling operation.

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A sign for the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, 219 S. Dearborn St.

Keith Benson might avoid a criminal conviction after helping the feds investigate Vincent “Uncle Mick” DelGiudice’s gambling ring.

Sun-Times file

Federal prosecutors struck a deal Tuesday with a key agent in a massive international gambling ring who cooperated with investigators and may now avoid a criminal conviction.

Keith Benson, 51, formally entered into what’s known as a deferred-prosecution agreement during a virtual court hearing. Under the terms of the two-year deal, Benson must remain employed, not break the law and keep cooperating with the feds.

If he does so, prosecutors are expected to seek dismissal of the gambling conspiracy charge leveled against him early in 2020.

However, Benson also publicly admitted Tuesday his participation in the gambling ring run by Vincent “Uncle Mick” DelGiudice, who was sentenced in March to 18 months in prison.

Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher, brother of Chicago Bears great Brian Urlacher, originally faced charges in the case, along with DelGiudice and Benson. President Donald Trump pardoned Casey Urlacher in the final hours of his presidency, though.

Seven others were also charged in the case. Most have avoided prison, though Chicago Police Officer Nicholas Stella was sentenced to 15 months behind bars. Gregory Paloian, a bookie charged in a related prosecution in Chicago, was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Jeffrey Gasior, charged in yet another related case in Indianapolis, was sentenced last week to two years in prison, according to prosecutors.

Benson told the feds that DelGiudice tried to keep his gambling operation running even after an April 2019 raid of his home that led to the discovery of more than $1 million in cash, two cash-counting machines, gold bars, silver and jewelry.

DelGiudice’s attorney has denied that allegation, insisting that “the vast majority of gambling activity ceased” immediately after that raid.

Benson also admitted Tuesday that he took money for DelGiudice from Chicago to an unnamed individual in Las Vegas, who was then supposed to take it to Costa Rica to help fund DelGiudice’s gambling operation.

DelGiudice paid a company in Costa Rica more than $10,000 a month to maintain his gambling website, prosecutors have said.

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