US Feds Indict High-Profile Sports Bettor Robert Gorodetsky in $9.7m Fraud

  • Criminal complaint against high-flying sports bettor filed in Chicago's federal court
  • Authorities allege ongoing fraud totaling $9.7 million over four years
  • Gorodetsky faces fraud and income tax evasion charges
  • Subject of prominent USA Today sports betting feature now faces different spotlight
Robert Gorodetsky in gambling garb
Robert Gorodetsky’s Twitter account shows him in the same $6,000 Louis Vuitton hoodie, Hublot watch, and “GAMBLR.” hat described in a 2017 USA Today feature. [Image: BIGROB / @vegasgamblr on Twitter]

Vegas-based “GAMBLR” arraigned in Illinois

Prominent sports bettor Robert Gorodetsky, whose flashly lifestyle and brash wagering led to him being the subject of a prominent USA Today feature in late 2017, has been indicted on two counts alleging his sports betting career was built on the fraud of almost $9.7 million from a single investor.

Gorodetsky, 27, a native of Glencoe, Illinois, faces charges of fraud and filing a false tax return in connection to the scheme, which authorities allege ran from 2014 to 2018.

alleging his sports betting career was built on the fraud of almost $9.7 million

In the criminal complaint, obtained by VSO, prosecutors also claim that Gorodetsky’s high-profile gambling career was built entirely on funds extracted from a single victim. Identified only as “Individual A,” the victim is alleged to have sent approximately $9,693,000 to Gorodetsky over the course of the years-long fraud.

Alleged scheme began as stock market investment

The six-page criminal complaint against Gorodetsky alleges that between February and June of 2014, he obtained a total of $953,000 from Individual A for the intended purpose of making stock market investments.

In July 2014, according to the complaint, Gorodetsky falsely represented that the investment had more than doubled, to about $2 million, based on his trading skills. Instead, investigators determined, Gorodetsky had converted $737,388 of the $953,000 investment for his own personal use.

Gorodetsky then persuaded his victim to also invest in sports betting based on his supposed expert knowledge, all while issuing false statements to Individual A about the balance of the investor’s account and the nature of the wagers being made.

authorities allege that he converted over $2.2 million for his own use

From July 2014 to November 2017, Gorodetsky extracted another $8,740,000 in total from his alleged victim. Of that, authorities allege that he converted over $2.2 million for his own use, including “living, travel, and entertainment expenses,” as well as “luxury automobiles and jewelry.”

The six-page complaint also includes a specific reference to what could be deemed interstate wire fraud. Gorodetsky maintained multiple bank accounts in connection with the scheme, and the complaint details Individual A sending $200,000 from a New York bank account to a Gorodetsky account at an Illinois bank in April 2017.

High-rolling lifestyle promoted

Gorodetsky, then 25, was prominently featured as the possible “future face of sports gambling” in the December 26, 2017, edition of USA Today.

The piece upsold Gorodetsky’s lifestyle, following him over a span of a couple of weeks. He wagered millions on various sporting events, bet tens of thousands more in Las Vegas casinos, and hobnobbed with celebrities and the social elite. Gorodetsky’s swagger included his ongoing display of wealth, including a $6,000 red-and-white Louis Vuitton hoodie.

The USA Today feature did note that Gorodetsky was a “controversial” figure in the sports wagering world. The piece outlined vague plans for Gorodetsky and his backers to launch a high-profile tout service, though such plans now seem highly unlikely.

The feature also flirted with the wild swings and brash betting behavior Gorodetsky exhibited. While it delved into his gambling history, dating back well into childhood, it never managed to nail down the source of Gorodetsky’s continuing bankroll. Though the feature did detail one stretch when he nearly went broke, the current allegations of fraud may well answer those funding questions.

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