Big Money Social Media Sports Bettor was Living a Lie.....Fraud! SHOCKING!!!

New Trier grad stole almost $10 million from investor to bankroll Las Vegas sports gambling, lavish lifestyle, feds say

JAN 22, 2020 | 12:54 PM

New Trier High School graduate Robert Gorodetsky made a name for himself as a maverick in the Las Vegas sports betting scene, a brash 20-something with a seemingly bottomless bankroll and the guts to lay it all on the line.
With his custom cap stenciled with the word “GAMBLR,” high-end watches and luxury cars, Gorodetsky carefully cultivated his image on Instagram, where he went by the moniker “Big Rob” and regularly posted photos of himself hobnobbing with beautiful women and professional athletes, claiming his method of picking games was the next big thing.


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But federal charges brought in Chicago this week allege Gorodetsky’s story was just a mirage.
Gorodetsky, 27, of Glencoe, was charged Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago with a massive fraud scheme against a single victim who invested millions of dollars with Gorodetsky in the belief that the funds were wisely invested and earning handsome dividends.
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Instead, Gorodetsky was using the cash to bankroll his operation in Las Vegas, placing reckless bets on sporting events and living a lavish lifestyle that was both celebrated on social media and scorned by some of Sin City’s more seasoned gamblers.
In all, Gorodetsky stole nearly $10 million from the investor — identified only as Victim A — from 2014 to 2017, the charges alleged.
Gorodetsky was charged in a two-count criminal information with executing wire fraud and filing a false tax return. A criminal information is typically an indication the defendant will waive indictment and plead guilty.
His lawyer, Chris Gair, had no comment Wednesday.
Betting ‘on gut instinct’
Gorodetsky had been gambling in Las Vegas for several years when his profile rose dramatically in December 2017 with a lengthy USA Today profile labeling him “one of the most compelling and controversial” figures in sports.
The article described how Gorodetsky bet more than $1 million in one week that fall, dropping $350,000 on a single NFL Sunday and tens of thousands of dollars more on Major League Baseball games, the NBA, tennis, soccer and even high school sports.

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Gorodetsky was known for placing wild, high-risk parlays with little or no research on the teams or players, according to the profile. He claimed to have won up to 65% of his sports bets — a figure instantly questioned by gambling experts in online blogs.
He arrived at casinos “with all the subtlety of a royal flush,” the article said, dressing in $6,000 Louis Vuitton hoodies and $2,500 high-top sneakers. He rolled with a “colorful crew” that included a financial manager, an enforcer and a pickup artist, it said.
"It’s not just gambling. It’s a lifestyle,” Gorodetsky was quoted as saying.
Gorodetsky claimed that his big wins and brash style had bettors flocking to him for advice — and paying big for it. At the time, his handicapping website charged subscribers $500 a month for his picks, he said.
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The article also played up Gorodetsky’s relationships with professional athletes and other celebrities, including singer Drake, then-New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and former NBA player Damon Jones.
The article caused a minor stir in Las Vegas, and both Beckham and Jones later denied knowing Gorodetsky, though he’d provided the newspaper with photos of him together with both athletes.
There was also fallout at the sports books, which didn’t take kindly to some of Gorodetsky’s braggadocio, according to a follow-up article by USA Today. On Dec. 29, 2017, two days after the original article ran, USA Today reported that Gorodetsky had been banned for life from MGM Resorts International and major Nevada sports book William Hill, though the specific reason for the ban was not given.
Still, Gorodesky managed to maintain a following on Instagram, amassing more than 143,000 followers by early last year. In March 2019, he was voted one of the top five accounts to follow by the blog
“Gorodetsky isn’t an analytics junky, he largely bets on gut instinct,” the blog said. “That’s part of what makes @BigRobStyle such an entertaining follow.”
Unafraid to lose
Gorodetsky grew up in the North Shore and graduated from New Trier in 2010, records show. He later went on to study at the University of Arizona but dropped out before completing his freshman year.
Gorodetsky told USA Today his interest in gambling started in high school when he would use his father’s Ameritrade account to make trades on his laptop in class.
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Online reports show Gorodetsky’s first foray in the gambling world was as a professional poker player after he turned 21.
According to the charges brought in Chicago, Gorodetsky’s fraud scheme had already begun.
Over a four-month period beginning in February 2014 when Gorodetsky was 20, he fraudulently obtained more than $953,000 from Victim A “for the purported purpose of investing in the stock market,” according to the six-page criminal information. Instead, he used the vast majority of it — $737,000 — for his own use, the document alleged.
In July 2014, Gorodetsky falsely told the victim that his original investment had increased to $2 million due to successful trades but that “greater returns would be had in sports wagering,” according to the charges.
Over the next three years, Gorodetsky continued to ask Victim A for more money, creating false statements that misstated the balance of the victim’s account, the amount and kind of wagers placed by Gorodetsky, as well as the profits and losses of those bets and Gorodetsky’s spending on luxury items, according to the charges.
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In that time period, Gorodetsky spent at least $2.2 million of the victim’s funds on items unrelated to sports bets, including to pay his living, travel and entertainment expenses, as well as purchase luxury cars and jewelry, the charges said.
In addition to the fraud count, Gorodetsky was accused of filing a false tax return with the Internal Revenue Service, claiming that his income totaled only $10,520 in 2016.
Efforts to reach Gorodetsky and his parents were unsuccessful Wednesday.
In the USA Today profile, Gorodetsky was quoted as saying he got his edge from being unafraid to lose.
“You’re still going to see me here tomorrow,” he said. “You’re going to see me here the next day. We’re going to be in the game.”