Chicago crowd bookmaker Greg Paloian dies after battling malignant brain tumor

CHICAGO (WLS) – Chicago Outfit has lost one of its most colorful characters.

Despite winning a legal bet in court that allowed him his freedom in his final months, Greg Paloian, a popular bookmaker for the Chicago crowd, passed away on June 8. at the age of 67.

That last bet by Paloian paid off in nearly a year as he struggled to get out of prison to battle a malignant brain tumor.

His lawyers, US prosecutors and a federal judge have all set a release date for him because of his deteriorating health.

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A Facebook photo of the once hit bookmaker shows Paloians often happily seeing dollar signs, which federal investigators have long argued was a fitting photo for a man. Earn millions of dollars from sports gambling profits for Outfit.

However, in sentenced him to 30 months last year, a federal judge described Paloian as having made a “devil bargain” following his previous convictions for similar crimes.

Paloian and his lawyers went to great lengths to keep him from spending the last months of his life behind bars.

They won that legitimate bet – most recently when his release date was delayed to next February – even though Paloian and his team knew it was a surrender he had. may never do.

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He reached a plea agreement with the government in January 2020, admitting to running a large-scale sports gambling operation and making false statements about his taxes.

According to his plea, Paloian made bets on professional football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and college sports.

In the end, US judge Joan Lefkow sentenced Paloian to two and a half years in prison, leaving the career bookmaker at the time wondering if it would become a death sentence for gambling.

The date of surrender was delayed by Lefkow until the government, Paloian and his lawyer, veteran crime defense attorney Ralph Mezcyk, could find a deal so that the nonviolent criminal would not go to jail. the last years of life.

He never served time and died with the last felony still on his record. The last plea to be released from the sentence for him was denied because of the technicality that he was not actually in prison to be released from anything.

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Paloian’s last bet came at a time when Outfit quickly found itself competing with a plethora of legitimate betting sites and giving bettors a chance.

The old-fashioned crowd-booking business that Paloian thrives on today may be smaller, but illegal syndicated gambling with varying odds, associated with criminal syndicated loan sharks in the In some cases, it is still the person who makes money for Outfit.

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