- A once-famous sports bettor, Robert Gorodetsky is facing charges of fraud in Chicago.
- The Illinois native stole millions of dollars from people he told would see great returns on their money through his investment strategies.
- He made headlines in 2017 as being the future of sports betting, before the truth about where his bank account funds came from was known.
CHICAGO – Sports bettor Robert Gorodetsky, known for placing large wagers on sporting competitions, is facing up to 20 years in prison for fraud.
It would seem that the high roller did it all for the ‘gram, Instagram that is.
“BigRobStyle” which is his social media handle has a name that is almost very literal as he robbed someone of $9.6 million under the assumption that he would invest that person’s money in order to earn them big profits.
The Big Rob Lifestyle That Was Funded By Victim A
Gorodetsky lived a life of luxury in Las Vegas. He would show up to casinos in $6000 designer hoodies and $2500 sneakers. He had his own entourage and often uploaded photos to his Instagram account rubbing elbows with celebrities like NFL WR Odell Beckham Jr or with a slew of women on his arm.
By social media standards, he was the epitome of success which he attributed to his highly skilled sports betting career.
However, that was not the case. The gambler, originally from Illinois, committed fraud by taking money from people and acting as though he was a seasoned investor that would gain returns on his customer’s investments. From 2014-2017 he stole $9.6 million from “Victim A” the person who has filed charges against him.
In those three years, he created false statements to show “Victim A” how their money was generating even more money through Gorodetsky’s investment strategy. It was these statements that allowed the bettor to continue receiving millions from the same person for years.
This was not the only time that Gorodetsky pulled this type of fraud. In 2013, before finding his money pot of a customer, he took $95,000 from a mother and son in New York promising them major returns on their investment.
Instead, they were duped out of that money and sued Gorodetsky in 2014. The trial resulted in him having to pay $59,000 in damages. Documents filed after the fact by the victims showed that Gorodetsky did not pay a cent of the money he owed the duo.
The Famous Gambler Façade
Big Rob was profiled by USA Today in 2017 as being the future of sports betting with his success through unorthodox strategies. At the time, it was unknown that his money was actually coming from those he stole from.
His high roller ways of wagering $100,000 on a single game gained him notoriety, especially when he placed bets based on his “gut instinct” rather than statistical data and odds.
It’s easy to wager such large sums of money on gut instinct when the money was never his to begin with. Even his friends were fooled by the glitz and glamour.
“When it goes legal, we’re going to be billionaires,’’ said Elo Hankham, a member of Gorodetsky’s entourage. “We’re the No. 1 entity, and we’re going to have a market share of at least 5% of a $150 billion industry.’’
This was before the truth came out and talk of nationwide legal sports betting was on the cusp of occurring. The gambler claimed at the time that he wasn’t part of any elaborate schemes to help earn him this lifestyle. He put on a good show for his spotlight profile, saying there was no particular magic to his success other than hard work.
“People are always like, ‘What’s the secret?’” said Gorodetsky. “I’m like, ‘There is no secret.’ It’s hard work. It’s luck. It’s odds. It’s probability. It’s not a magic show. It’s not Copperfield.”
He told the news outlet that it wasn’t just gambling, but a lifestyle. And now that lifestyle has caught up with him. The 27-year-old is facing federal charges in Chicago that include fraud and false tax return filings. He claimed $10,520 on his taxes the same year he told USA Today he bet $1.5 million in the course of 24 hours.
The charges against him were filed on January 21. The once famous sports bettor will now face the highest stakes of his life once the trial begins.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.