Key agent pleads guilty to role in gambling ringJon Seidelon October 4, 2021 at 3:07 pm

Dirksen Federal Courthouse, 219 S. Dearborn St. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times | Sun-Times Media

Justin Hines has been described by the feds as one of the largest agents for the massive, international gambling ring once run by Vincent “Uncle Mick” DelGiudice.

A man described by the feds as one of the largest agents for a massive, international gambling ring pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to his role in the conspiracy.

Justin Hines, 42, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall and faces sentencing Jan. 7. He is the latest person to plead guilty to allegations revolving around the ring run by Vincent “Uncle Mick” DelGiudice.

Several of the eight people charged along with Hines and DelGiudice in a February 2020 gambling indictment have already been sentenced. Charges are still pending against two defendants, Keith Benson and Vasilios Prassas.

The defendants charged in that and a handful of related cases have mostly avoided prison time. Just two of the seven sentenced so far, Chicago Police Officer Nicholas Stella and bookie Gregory Paloian, have been given time behind bars. U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow gave Paloian until August 2022 to report to prison for health reasons.

Another defendant, Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher, was pardoned in January by then-President Donald Trump.

DelGiudice pleaded guilty in February but has not been sentenced.

The indictment that charged Hines, DelGiudice and the others alleged that DelGiudice recruited Hines and most of their fellow defendants to work as agents for the gambling ring. DelGiudice ran it through the website, paying a company in Costa Rica $10,000 a month for use of the site.

Hines told DelGiudice on Dec. 14, 2018, he had 10 “guys” who lose $15,000 a year, according to the indictment. Hines also told a gambler by text message he was “down 1450” on Dec. 27, 2018, it said.

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