Youngest defendant in sports gambling ring avoids prison
CHICAGO (AP) — The youngest person charged in a sports betting ring that included a northern Illinois mayor pardoned by then-President Donald Trump has avoided prison time for bringing a bookmaking operation to the Illinois State University campus.
A federal judge in Chicago sentenced Matthew Namoff, 25, on Tuesday to six months of home confinement and a $10,000 fine. He pleaded guilty in April to conspiring to conduct an illegal gambling business.
Namoff is the seventh person to be sentenced in a series of related gambling cases, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Two of the six people previously sentenced got prison time, but four others avoided it. Trump pardoned another defendant, Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher — the brother of former Chicago Bears star Brian Urlacher — in January.
Federal prosecutors say the gambling ring’s alleged leader, Vincent “Uncle Mick” DelGiudice of Orland Park, groomed Namoff and made him an equal partner in the larger gambling ring DelGiudice ran online.
Prosecutors said Namoff managed 60 gamblers at Illinois State University, and DelGiudice saw it as a business opportunity because Namoff’s gamblers would eventually leave the Normal, Illinois, campus, get jobs and increase their bets.
“These were not small bets in a dorm room over beer,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Terry Kinney wrote in a court memo.
Defense attorney Darryl Goldberg said he “fundamentally” disagreed with the prosecutor’s characterization of Namoff, insisting that he “pales in comparison” to others charged in connection with the gambling ring.
DelGiudice, 55, pleaded guilty in February to gambling conspiracy and money laundering charges but he has not yet been sentenced. He admitted that he ran the larger bookmaking business from 2016 to 2019 in and around Chicago.
Prosecutors allege DelGiudice paid a Costa Rica-based sportsbook a service fee of $10,000 a week to use its online platform and recruited gamblers to place wagers on his website.