Convicted Illinois Man Faces Illegal Sports Betting Charges Again

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Gregory Emmet Paloian, who was convicted in 2002 on federal racketeering charges for running an illegal gambling ring on the West Side of Chicago, is facing a new federal charge of conducting an illegal sports betting business in Illinois.

The U.S. District Attorney’s office filed the charge Friday against the 66-year-old Paloian, alleging he ran a sports betting operation from 2015 to 2019 in Elmwood Park and Melrose Park. Federal authorities are seeking the forfeiture of $274,000 in cash and Paloian’s 2017 Audi.

Paloian’s arrangement is set for Wednesday before U.S. District Court Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow in Chicago. The count of conducting an illegal gambling business carries a sentence of up to five years in federal prison.

Paloian had ties to organized crime in Chicago

Paloian’s conviction in 2002 for running an illegal gambling ring for decades on the West Side of the city reportedly connected him to crime boss Rocky Infelise. It was one of multiple gambling-related arrests for Paloian, with the Chicago Tribune reporting he was convicted in 1980 on charges for extending juice loans to gamblers and arrested in 1995 when police reportedly spotted him writing down sports wagers in Elmwood Park and trying to swallow the papers while rolling on the ground when officers approached him.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that in 1998, Paloian had $6,090 in cash physically on him plus another $150,000 in cash in addition to jewelry, diamonds, and Krugerrands during a police raid. Paloian was also part of the “Hired Truck Program,” which was a program in the city of Chicago in which companies were exposed for doing little to no work, had ties to organized crime or tied to city employees and lasted for nearly a decade from 1996 to 2004.

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Chris Altruda

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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