Chicago mob bookmaker headed back to federal prison; claims it's a death sentence

A federal judge describes Paloian having made a "bargain with the devil" after his previous convictions.

Video Transcript

CHUCK GOUDIE: Judy, on Greg Paloian's personal Facebook page, he's pictured seeing dollar signs, a fitting photo for a man who made millions in sports gambling profits for the outfit, according to prosecutors. A federal judge describes Peloian having made a bargain with the devil after his previous convictions. And tonight, it is a deal that Paloian has now lost, being handed a 30-month sentence in his latest case.

Gregory [? Emmett ?] Paloian would be eligible for a gold wristwatch from the Chicago mob after 50 years of service, if the outfit actually gave out career awards. Instead, tonight the 66-year-old crime syndicate bookmaker is looking to spend a few of his golden years behind steel bars. Here at the Dirksen Federal Building late this afternoon, Judge Joan [? Lefkow ?] listened to Paloian beg for mercy in the form of probation, informing the court that he was recently diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer disease.

He had struck this plea deal with the government in January, admitting to running a large-scale sports gambling operation and falsifying his taxes. According to his guilty plea, Paloian took bets on professional football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and college sports. His Facebook page didn't hide the money he saw in booking illegal sports bets for decades, flouting his earnings with a laptop pictured on his couch, one tool of a bookmaker whom prosecutors say hauled in hundreds of thousands of dollars in an average month, handling bets and vigorously pressing high-stakes losers to pay up, with the threat of the outfit always present.

In the end, Judge [? Lefkow ?] handing Paloian two and 1/2 years in prison, leaving the career bookie to wonder out loud whether it will turn out to be a death sentence for gambling. And he asked, "What does this sentence accomplish?"

Greg Paloian promised that if he got probation, he would never book another bet. After court, the I-Team asked Paloian if he wanted to talk about his sentence, which was on the lower end of what federal prosecutors requested. According to his attorney, the Elmwood Park native tonight is still digesting today's disappointment. Paloian has to surrender for prison by May the 20th. [? Alan? ?]

- All right, Chuck.