CHICAGO — A Chicago man has been charged in federal court with conducting an illegal sports gambling business and concealing the income in a bankruptcy proceeding.
MICHAEL FRONTIER, also known as “Ira Goldberg,” “Brian Seagal,” and “Matthew Sullivan,” provided bettors with gambling accounts at an online sportsbook based in Costa Rica, according to a 14-count indictment returned in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Frontier paid a service fee to the sportsbook for use of its platform, and then personally collected or paid cash to the bettors depending on the outcomes of their bets, the indictment states.
The charges allege that Frontier concealed his gambling income when he fraudulently obtained an order from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court discharging his debts, including a $1.5 million civil judgment against him for negligence in a motorcycle accident. Frontier used the fraudulently-obtained bankruptcy order as leverage to ultimately settle the negligence case for only $4,500, the indictment states.
The indictment was returned Thursday. It charges Frontier, 35, of Chicago, with five counts of money laundering, five counts of making a false statement in a bankruptcy case, two counts of bankruptcy fraud, one count of conducting an illegal gambling business, and one count of making a false declaration before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Arraignment in federal court in Chicago has not yet been scheduled.
The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Larry L. Lapp, acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI; and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. The United States Trustee Program provided valuable assistance. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Devlin N. Su and Erika Csicsila.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Each count of money laundering carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while the other counts in the indictment are each punishable by up to five years. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.