Highland Park Man Facing Criminal Charges for Illegal Gambling Ring

A Highland Park man who was named in one court case before is now facing criminal charges for allegedly running an illegal bookmaker operation.

Did Mr. Poeta Run an Illegal Bookmaker?

With sports betting seeing unprecedented growth across the United States, there are still a few old-timers, such as Dominic Poeta, a 63-year-old man from Highland Park, who may be facing charges for allegedly running an illegal bookmaker operation, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Mr. Poeta is looking at federal criminal charges because of his reported involvement in an unlicensed sportsbook. According to the charges, Mr. Poeta was involved with the activity between 2014 and 2018, accepting various sports wagers, although this may have dated back to the 2000s and even before.

He also allegedly fudged the numbers on his income statement back in 2016 stating that he had earned $81,609 in the taxable period. However, investigators may have reason to suspect that this is not true and Mr. Poeta may face up to 5 years in prison now if found guilty.

Mr. Poeta’s Name Surfaces in the Universal Federal Savings Bank

Previously, Mr. Poeta’s name surfaced in conjunction with the name of Adam Resnick, a gambling addict, who contributed to the failure of the Universal Federal Savings Bank back in 2002. According to the accusation, Mr. Poeta was a bookmaker in 2007.

The connection apparently lies in the fact that Mr. Poeta accepted bets from Mr. Resnick worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Mr. Resnick allegedly ran or at least participated in a $10 million check-kiting scheme, which resulted in the bust of the aforementioned financial institution. He was indicted along with two other defendants in 2005.

The bets were accepted throughout 2001 and 2002 with the amount total set at $900,000. Mr. Poeta is also one of the characters in Mr. Resnick’s shot at redemption, a book with the descriptive title of Bust: How I Gambled and Lost a Fortune, Brought Down a Bank – and Lived to Pay For It.

His Story in Literature

In the book, Mr. Resnick offered some insight into the operations of the illegal gambling ring allegedly run by Mr. Poeta, explaining the subtle aspects of the operation, such as placing bets, collecting winnings, and unfortunately for a gambling addict, setting off debts.

Mr. Resnick explained how his addiction would spiral out of control, with his visits to Mr. Poeta increasing to the point where he would be gambling every day for as long as he had money.

Mr. Poeta would place bets on all sports, including boxing, baseball, football, basketball, and horse racing. Bets were capped at $2,000, Mr. Resnick explained, but for special occasions, such as the NBA finals, the cap per single bet would increase to $1.5 million.

When his involvement came to light back when Mr. Resnick’s case was discussed, Mr. Poeta invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and surfaced unscathed with just $848,197 to pay as ordered by a US District Judge.

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