Angelini Donald AKA The Wizard of Odds, Born 1926. Died December 8 2000 Correctly, Angelini was viewed by authorities as one of the top money makers in the syndicate history. He and Dominic Cortina reigned as gambling czars over a $20 million per-year sports betting empire. Angelini scoffed at the government's figures, but government agents insisted their numbers may even have been conservative. He did it by setting nearly unbeatable spreads on sporting events and controlled the odds for football, baseball and hockey games.
Bill Kaplan, who had been around the gambling world since the days of Al Capone, was one of the last independent gamblers in the city in the 1960s. He had built up a lucrative racing and handicapping service on Clark Street that supplied odds to bookmakers all over the world in the years before the nation's scattered wire services were legislated out of existence by the government and supplanted by the Las Vegas casinos. One day, "Milwaukee Phil" Alderisio's attempt to squeeze him out of business. It was just a matter of time before Alderisio grew tired of asking and simply killed Kaplan and Kaplan knew it. Kaplan went to mob lawyer George Bieber and Mike Brodkin and cut a deal in which he would hand over 50% of his business in so long as the somber and deadly Alderisio stayed away from him and his business. It was a lucrative offer and the Outfit sent in the smooth, educated Don Angelini as the intermediary
Eventually, Angelini was selected as the Chicago family's replacement for Tony Spilotro out in Las Vegas, but by then, the mobs interest and influence had floundered. Cops and crooks alike considered the refined and urbane Angelini to be a cut above the rest. Unlike the other representatives sent out to Las Vegas by the mob, Tony Spilotro, Marshal Caifano or Johnny Roselli, Angelina was a thinking man, a true gambler who never intimidated or killed anyone. Angelini, like Spilotro and Caifano, was barred from entering Las Vegas casinos by the state of Nevada and by the state of Illinois.
Splitting his time between Las Vegas, the West Coast and Chicago, in November of 1989, Dominic Cortina (Born 1929) and Angelini, pled guilty to charges that they ran a multimillion dollar betting empire that took wagers on college and professional football, basketball and baseball games. (Others involved in the case included Joseph Rosengard, Joseph Spadavecchio Leonard Zullo, Raymond Tominello, Richard Catezone, Louis Parilli, and his brother, Charles Parilli) The group took in bets of up to $188,000 a day at 16 different locations in Chicago, Oak Park and Bensenville Illinois.
Cortina organized the ring, supervised the booking offices, gave large bettors telephone numbers to place their bets, and paid out and collected winning and losing wagers from special gamblers, according to the charges. Angelini provided the point spread, known as "the line," and took bets from gamblers outside the Chicago area. In one instance, Angelini took bets totaling $16,000 from one out-of-state bettor on the outcome of football games being played by Boston College, Clemson, Nebraska, Mississippi, Texas and Southern California.
Joey Auippa, greedy and thoughtless, demanded that Angelini and his boss Dom Cortina to explore all avenues outside of Las Vegas in an effort to determine new "skimming possibilities." So Angelini found, eventually, the Rincon Indian reservation in California. In all likelihood, the Outfit would have passed on the Rincon reservation deal because it was such a disorganized mess, filled with tribal backbiting and politics. However, Angelini and DiFronzo came to the attention of the West Coast FBI after they made several messy collections out west. The Bureau taped their phones and gained information, most of it from the financier Richard Silberman who was involved with Angelini.
The plan was to finance the tribe's venture into gambling, take over the operations, skim money from the casinos as well as use it to launder money from narcotics sales. Dom Angelini placed Chris Petti, the outfit's man in San Diego, in charge of the takeover. Petti, in turn, was to deal directly with Angelini's brother-in-law, Michael Caracci, a soldier in the DiFronzo crew. The two hoods fought endlessly and complained about each other to Chicago through the back channels. Caracci contacted Petti at the same San Diego pay phone they had been using for years, which, unknown to them the FBI had tapped years before in a different case. The FBI sent in an undercover agent named Peter Carmassi, who presented himself as a money launderer for a Columbian drug cartel. The Chicago mob, in the meantime, had decided that Rincon was a bust and wouldn’t put any money into it. However, they would allow Angelini and Petti to stay involved if they could find an outside source to finance the plan. Carmassi, the FBI agent, showed an interest. In several tape recorded and filmed meetings with undercover agent Carmassi, Petti laid out the entire scam to take over the Rincon reservation gambling concession.
On January 9, 1992, the government indicted Petti, DiFronzo, Carlisi and the reservation's lawyer, on 15 counts of criminal conspiracy. DiFronzo and Angelini were convicted and got a 37-month sentence, with fines approaching one million dollars. Carlisi, DiFronzo and Angelini would all go to prison in 1993 on federal racketeering charges.
Carlisi was eventually released from the case but Angelini and DiFronzo were convicted and each received 37 months for their part in the scheme. Both sentences were later reduced on appeal. Angelini died at age after fighting cancer for years. The Outfit never replaced Angelini out west and the position of Representato to Las Vegas is, by all accounts, no more.