Fifth Person Pleads Guilty In Casey Urlacher Illegal Sports Betting Ring

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A fifth person has entered a guilty plea in Chicago in relation to the illegal sports betting ring that involved Casey Urlacher, the mayor of Mettawa, Ill., and brother of ex-Bears linebacker and Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher.

Nicholas Stella, a Chicago police officer, pled guilty Monday to one charge of conspiring to conduct an illegal gambling business, with his sentencing set for June 22. He is the fourth person to plead guilty in the case since former President Donald Trump pardoned Casey Urlacher of federal charges in January just prior to leaving office.

Urlacher, who has served as mayor of the Illinois village since 2013, was one of 10 people indicted on federal charges in February 2020 for allegedly running an illegal offshore sports betting ring. He was one of 73 people pardoned by Trump during the final hours of his presidency.

According to the plea agreement, Stella acknowledged “the illegal gambling operation was in substantially continuous operation for a period in excess of thirty days” from 2016 to 2019. It “involved five or more persons who conducted, financed, managed, supervised, directed, and owned all or part of the business.”

The agreement further reads that Stella and Vincent DelGiudice — who pled guilty in February to running the gambling ring — conspired to “accept wagers on sporting events, and collected winnings and losses related to those wagers.” According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Stella has been in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago since January after federal prosecutors alleged he “violently assaulted his girlfriend.”

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Brian Urlacher was a longtime fan favorite as a linebacker for the Bears from 2000-12 who led them to their most recent Super Bowl appearance in 2006. He met with Trump in March 2020 on behalf of his brother, according to media reports.

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Chris Altruda has been a sportswriter with ESPN, The Associated Press, and STATS over more than two decades. He recently expanded into covering sports betting and gambling around the Midwest.

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