North Shore Butcher Gets Prison Time, Must Pay $1.4M In Taxes For Illegal Sports Betting Business

Written By Joe Boozell on December 1, 2020

Dominic Poeta & nbsp acknowledged earlier this year that between 2012 and 2017, he made more than$ 3.7 million from an illegal sports gambling enterprise.

Lawyers, however, allege that he has been consistently underreporting his income to the IRS for decades. An example of this is when he purchased a house in Highland Park for $1.5 million in 2008.

That year, he submitted a tax return of less than $12,000 to the IRS.

On Monday, US District Judge Matthew Kennelly sentenced Poeta to a period of incarceration. In addition, Poeta, 63, must also repay the $1.4 million in taxes he owes.

Poeta, a barber at NorthShore, asserted that he often took bets at his place of work.

During the hearing, Kennelly stated, according to the Chicago Sun-Times:

“Frankly, the amount involved in this is rather astonishing. Moreover, it’s probably an underestimation by a significant margin.”

Prosecutors determined the $1.4 million amount by examining checks deposited into Poeta’s personal bank accounts after 2012. They suspect that he began placing bets and misreporting money prior to that.

Assistant US Attorney Patrick King wrote, “The scale of his activity and the income he earned was larger than the charges levied against him.”

In his letter, King also pointed out that Poeta made bets on people, whether at his barber shop, or at gamblers’ homes, businesses, and tables.

He alleged that a casino pilfered money from his family’s restaurant chain to settle its debts, leading to the total closure of the establishment by the community.

It is widely recognized that problem playing often goes hand in hand with improper playing.

Not the first run-in with the authorities for Poeta

In 2007, Poeta was charged by the feds for working as a bookmaker.

This pertains to the case of Adam Resnick. Resnick, a compulsive gambler, was sentenced to prison for his involvement in a $10 million check-kiting scheme.

The program destroyed the Universal Federal Savings Bank in 2002.

In 2007, Resnick published his book titled “Bust: How I Gambled and Lost a Wealth, Brought Down and Mdash, and Lived to Pay For It”.

In it, he refers to Poeta, portraying him as a renowned high school athlete in his mid-forties. Besides his day job, Poeta also owned and accepted bets.

In 2018, Poeta received a subpoena from the IRS. Despite this, reports suggest that he continued to accept bets. He even informed a casino that the IRS had prohibited him from accepting checks, but that did not deter his activities.

In August, Poeta confessed to sending fraudulent tax returns and information concerning illegal gambling. Rather than serving a prison sentence, Poeta, along with his lawyers, argued for probation or house arrest.

Defense attorney, Thomas Breen, asserted that Poeta is an incredibly wonderful and attractive individual who often helped people in his community.

“Poeta suggested to the prosecutor that the best way for him to serve his sentence would be to stay here, take care of the people he needs to, continue working, and pay off his debts.”

Eventually, the judge arrived at the opposite conclusion.

This is the most recent illicit gambling plot to be busted in Illinois. Earlier this year, a scheme featuring Casey Urlacher attracted significant media attention.

The court proceedings are still ongoing, although one man has already received his sentence.

Why a restricted market is preferable

Responsible gaming is promoted by legal sportsbooks, and for those grappling with problem gambling, local services are available for assistance.

In this situation, a gambler, after years of consistent losses, would often leave thousands of dollars in cash envelopes with Poeta, the doorman. To say the least, it’s hard to envision Poeta discouraging such behavior.

Furthermore, if a bookmaker’s business violates the law, there is nothing stopping them from withholding rewards from their customers.

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Boozell, Joe

Since 2015, Joe Boozell has been a college sports writer for His work has also been featured on Bleacher Report,, and In his youth, Boozell competed against Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the basketball scene of Chicagoland, and you can probably guess the outcomes of those games.

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