A Brief Look at Crime 04/19 – 04/25

Chicago police officer pleads guilty in sports gambling case that involved Casey Urlacher

A Chicago police officer pleaded guilty Monday to his role in a multi-million dollar gambling ring in the case that led to January’s pardon of Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher by then-President Donald Trump. Nicholas Stella, 43, pleaded guilty to conspiring to conduct an illegal gambling business. He is the fifth defendant in the case to plead guilty, and the fourth since Trump pardoned Urlacher, the brother of Chicago Bears great Brian Urlacher. A CPD spokesperson said Monday that Stella’s status with the department was “inactive.”

Back in January, U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall ordered Stella into the downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center after prosecutors alleged that he “violently assaulted his girlfriend” during an incident at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Rosemont. Kendall set Stella’s sentencing hearing for June 22. A February 2020**indictment filed against Stella, Vincent “Uncle Mick” DelGiudice, Casey Urlacher and seven others alleged that Stella was among the agents recruited by DelGiudice, who has since admitted running a gambling ring around Chicago from 2016 until 2019.

Suspect had an axe when he chased woman at QC casino

A 43-year-old East Moline man was behind bars Monday after police say he had an axe when he chased a woman at a casino. Jeromy Anderson faces a felony charge of going armed with intent, along with misdemeanor charges of carrying a weapon, disorderly conduct and domestic abuse – assault with intent or weapon. Shortly after 8 a.m. Easter Sunday, officers were called to Rhythm City Casino, 7077 Elmore Ave., Davenport, for a disturbance involving a man chasing a woman with an axe. “During the course of an altercation (with the woman) he retrieved an axe from a vehicle and chased her while brandishing the axe overhead in a threatening manner,” police said in the arrest affidavit. The victim was afraid of serious injury, police said. The incident happened in both the parking lot and inside the casino and multiple people saw it. Additionally, it was recorded on surveillance cameras.

Crooked accountant stole over £700,000 from Leeds business and spent it all on casinos and online gambling

Jamal Haider was jailed for 40 months over the offending which was carried out while he was entrusted to look after the finances at Wortley-based MechTronic Ltd. Leeds Crown Court heard Haider used “ingenious”methods to hide his offending over a nine-month period during 2016. Camille Morland, prosecuting, said Haider falsified invoices from suppliers then arranged for payments to be made from his employer’s bank account into his own account and the account of his friend. All of the stolen funds were later transferred to him. The defendant then altered payment spreadsheets to hide the deception. The court heard Haider stole a total of £744,508 before the offending came to light. An investigation was launched after HMRC contacted the company over an unpaid VAT bill for £52,000. Ms Morland said further investigation revealed Haider was spending large amounts on online gambling. A company director provided a victim statement to the court describing how the offending had put a strain on the business. Shufqat Khan, mitigating, said: “Almost every penny he was obtaining through this offending was gambled away.

Fraudster in Old Man Disguise Stole $125,000 in Casino Scam, Pleads Guilty

A Michigan man who donned prosthetic “old man” facemasks while bilking casino customers out of more than $125,000 has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and identity fraud in a federal court in Detroit. John Christopher Colletti, 56, wore a variety of latex and silicone masks while withdrawing gamblers’ money from kiosks at casinos in Michigan and Kansas between April 26, 2019, and March 12, 2020. According to prosecutors, Colletti used personal information bought from hackers online including names, driver’s license numbers, and the last four digits of Social Security Numbers. He used this to access accounts belonging to VIP Preferred program customers at the kiosks. VIP Preferred is an e-wallet for cashless wagering owned by fintech giant Global Payments. It also allows a customer to withdraw their funds in cash at the Global Payments kiosks.

Engineer embezzled £80,000 from employer to fund out-of-control gambling problem

An engineer has been jailed after embezzling more than £80,000 from his employer to fund his gambling addiction. Darren Morrison took advantage of his role within InnServe Ltd, a firm that specialises in beer and soft drinks dispense systems, and deliberately over-ordered parts and equipment, which he then sold as scrap metal. The 45-year-old over-ordered stock worth more than £80,000 between April 23 2017 and April 23 2019, and sold it for less than £13,500 to finance his addiction to gambling.

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