A Chicago Police officer has received a 15-month jail sentence from US District Judge Virginia Kendall for his role in an illegal sportsbook operation with ties to Costa Rica.
Chicago Police Officer Gets a Jail Sentence
On Thursday, Nicholas Stella, a 43-year old police officer from the Chicago police department, received a 15-month jail sentence from US District Judge Virginia Kendall for his role in an illegal sportsbook operation. Stella pleaded guilty in April for participating in the scheme. He faced up to five years in prison, but the prosecutors asked for a sentence between 12 to 18 months earlier this month.
Stella admitted to taking bets and helping recruit others to also take bets for Vincent DelGuidice from 2016 to 2019. From Jan. 1, 2018, to Dec. 18, 2018, the operation saw more than $450,000 in profit from Stella’s clients. According to prosecutors, the revenue was likely much higher due to the college football bowl games schedule for the last two weeks of the year.
Stella also admitted to providing access to information to a website related to a Costa Rican sportsbook DelGuidice used for the operation.
Stella Will Be Terminated from the Force and Could Lose His Pension
According to Stella’s lawyers, who objected to the claim that he had a major role in the scheme, the disgraced police officer only generated 3% of DelGuidice’s profit. They stated that he also admitted to his participation before being charged by the authorities. The lawyers also said that he was “a gambling junkie” who started working for DelGuidice to support his habit, but he lost what he made from gambling.
According to Associated Press, Stella’s lawyer, Michael Clancy, said that the defendant was on disability leave from the Chicago police department during his participation in the illegal gambling scheme. He stated that Stella will be terminated from the force and will likely lose his pension.
Clancy also said that the defendant started gambling at the age of seven and, as an adult, gambled daily. He won and lost thousands and he also recognized that he has a gambling addiction and is open to treatment as part of his sentence.
Stella Served 6 Months in Jail for Alleged Domestic Violence
According to the court documents, the defendant has served six months after the judge revoked his bail due to a possible domestic violence incident in January. Stella’s girlfriend at the time had called police from a hotel near O’Hare International Airport, saying that he wanted to kill her. According to prosecutors, the incident was an “aggravating circumstance.”
Also, his police officer position distinguished him from the other nine people caught by the authorities for their participation in the scheme.
Stella Is the First from the Scheme to Receive a Jail Sentence
Two other two participants in the scheme already received their sentences, but Stella will be the first person in the operation to go to jail. Todd Blanken received six months in a community center and two years’ probation. According to the authorities, the 43-year-old helped collect payments from and distributing winnings to clients.
Vincent DelGiudice’s father,Eugene DelGuidice, got three-month home detention and a year of probation. He collected payments and distributed winnings, according to the prosecutors. Another DelGuidice sibling who also pleaded guilty awaits his sentencing.
Mayor of Mettawa Illinois, Casey Urlacher and brother of Brian Urlacher from the Chicago Bears also faced charges in the case, but received a pardon from President Trump.