April 30, 2021 – Imprisoned former Chicago mob boss Michael (Fat Mike) Sarno has received tribute payments from an Elmwood Park sports bookmaking business in recent years, according to federal prosecutors. The allegation hurts Sarno’s attempt to earn a medically-related re-sentencing or compassionate release from his judge.
The feds nailed longtime Chicago Outfit bookie Greg Paloian in 2019. Prison phone and wire transfer records link Paloian to Sarno, the Outfit’s acting boss from 2005 until he was sent to prison in December 2010 for firebombing the storefront of a competing video-poker machine company in Berwyn, Illinois.
The ailing Sarno is doing his time behind bars in a federal correctional facility in Missouri, serving 25 years for racketeering and extortion. Sarno’s attorney is currently fighting for a compassionate release for the infirmed don due to severe failing health (the once 350-pound Fat Mike is weighing in at under 200 pounds these days and his confined to a wheelchair). The judge in the case denied his second motion for compassionate release last month.
“Paloian has regularly sent money to Sarno’s prison account since he’s been imprisoned. There is no doubt that money was proceeds from an illegal gambling business,” wrote U.S. Attorney Amarjeet Bhachu in a court brief related to Paloian’s case filed Thursday morning.
The 66-year old Paloian, a convicted felon, has ties to reputed Outfit underboss James (Jimmy I) Inendino as well. He pleaded guilty to his most recent gambling pinch back in January and was sentenced to two and a half years in prison earlier thismonth.
Sarno, 63, and Inendino, 78, both come from the Chicago mob’s historic Cicero crew. Per sources, Sarno’s absence in Cicero the past decade has allowed Jimmy I to rise to skipper and now underboss for the entire crime family. Inendino, sometimes called “Jimmy the Ice Pick,” walked free from a prison bid in 2008 and has stayed clear of trouble with the law since.
Ex-Melrose Park police officer John Amabile pleaded guilty to his role in the Paloian gambling racket this week. Amabile, 33, acted as one of Paloian’s biggest “betting agents,” bringing him bets and bettors and splitting the juice from their action with him 50/50.
Amabile’s grandfather was deceased Outfit enforcer Joseph (Joe Shine) Amabile, and his brother, Joe, appeared on the hit ABC tv show The Bachelorette. His dad was a Melrose Park police lieutenant.
The ornery Joe Shine was Chicago mob boss Sam (Teetz) Battaglia’s right-hand man and helped him lord over the west side suburbs. Battaglia died in prison in 1973. Joe Shine passed in 1975.
The FBI began tracking the Paloian bookmaking operation in 2012 and estimated he had approximately 60 different bettors wagering with him on a daily basis. Paloian directed his action through a website he ran with another bookie who was brought down in a separate case.
Following a gambling bust two decades ago, Paloian did five years in the can. In that case, Paloian was instructing his debtors to visit Jimmy I for juice loans as a means of paying their delinquent tabs.