Federal prosecutors want a stiff jail sentence for a bookmaker, who allegedly has ties to the mob and targeted gamblers who owed tens of thousands of dollars.
Feds Say Paloian Ran an Illegal Gambling Extortion Business
Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to give bookmaker Gregory Emmett Paloian, 66, of Elmwood Park, who allegedly has ties to the mob, a more severe prison sentence, insisting that he sold “a fantasy” to the judge about an illegal gambling ring, which “never exploited anyone.”
According to Assistant US Attorney Terry Kinney, who shared his opinion in a court filing, the reality is different. He said that Paloian “hounded gamblers for payments as they lost tens of thousands of dollars, and even prompted one gambler who couldn’t pay his debts to burst into tears.”
Kinney wrote that Paloian and his agents called gamblers “goofball,” “idiot,” and other offensive words.
Defense Attorney Said That Palonian Ran a Clean Business
Paloian’s defense attorney, Joseph Urgo, asked US District Judge Joan Lefkow not to send Paloian to prison. He wrote that the prosecutors didn’t have evidence of one customer or agent who has suffered from Paloian’s bookmaking, nor did anyone show any signs of a problem gambling habit. In his court memo, Urgo wrote that the bookmaker “conducted that business in as ‘clean’ a manner as possible.” His goal was never to exploit anyone or allow anyone to gamble beyond their capabilities.
Federal Prosecutors Want the Toughest Sentence Possible
The prosecutor asked the judge to give the bookmaker the stiffest prison sentence possible, considering federal sentencing guidelines. According to the defendant’s plea agreement, it would be around 3 years, although prosecutors may challenge it.
In the plea agreement with the prosecutors, Paloian admitted that he ran an illegal gambling business for over 4 years, beginning in 2015. He pleaded guilty to failing to pay $200,000 in state-federal taxes during that time. His sentencing hearing is set for April 7, 2021. The prosecutors have stated that at least 5 more people worked with the defendant and that the investigation is ongoing.