Ex-MMA Fighter Snagged for Mob-Linked Gambling Operation and Bankruptcy Fraud

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In a striking case that traverses the murky domains of illicit gambling, organized crime, and bankruptcy fraud, Michael Frontier, a former MMA fighter, now a suspected mobster turned rogue bookie, has been consigned to a two-year sentence in prison. Covered in a canvas of tattoos and having once waded the risky currents of a notorious Mob operation, Frontier claims to have since changed his course, leaving behind his unsavory past.

Earlier this year, in January, Frontier appeased legal authorities by confessing to steering an unlawful wagering enterprise in Chicago leaping over the boundaries of legality between the years 2015 and 2016. This high-stakes game of crime that Frontier was caught dabbling in was believed to be a part of an expansive federal dragnet set up to probe into the infamous Elmwood Park and Grand Avenue street syndicates of the Chicago Outfit.

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Swept under the radar of the FBI, Frontier was wiretapped conversing about his illicit betting activities. The webs of crime spread far and wide, led the investigators to key figures underpinning the Outfit’s unlawful gambling and unmentionable operations. Though never formally holding a membership with the Mafia, Frontier did not deny spearheading a team of five emissaries entrusted with the task of luring gamblers and retrieving debts for his covert betting maneuvers.

The gambling operation wasn’t just for the thrill, it was fruitful too. Garnering hefty monetary gains from these off-the-book ventures, Frontier, however, conveniently overlooked to declare his burgeoning bounty during the bankruptcy proceedings in 2015. His intention was to skulk away from paying a staggering 1.5-million-dollar civil remuneration that found its root in a motorcycle accident lawsuit.

In the bankruptcy hearing, Frontier donned an unassuming façade, claiming his two velvet-gloved professions of a painter and carpenter had fetched him a meager gross earning of just $7,500 that year. What they didn’t know then, what we do now, is his threats to unyielding gamblers, unearthed in the course of various recorded calls. Making his villainy evident, one fallen gambler’s testimony recounted how failure to pay threw him to the mercy of a moneylender with brutes who didn’t hesitate to use their fists when needed.

From an outlaw to a regretful defender standing before U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey, Frontier braved an apology. His life had allegedly taken a U-turn after he left the outlawed gambling trade in 2016 before the looming investigation even got up from its slumber, as revealed by The Chicago Tribune. Frontier now holds a respectable position in Verano, a thriving cannabis enterprise, and is also awaiting the arrival of his first child, as confirmed by his defending attorney.

Rewriting his life story, Frontier had pictured himself on a now-erased LinkedIn page as “a clairvoyant, intuitive life coach, reiki master, reflexologist, and keynote speaker”. But, as the broader federal investigation scanned through an assembly line of suspected members of the Chicago Outfit, capturing in its ambit a relative of the rumored Elmwood Park capo and Mob bookmaker Joseph “Joe Gags” Gagliano, and Marco “The Mover” D’Amico who was widely speculated to have led the Outfit’s illegal betting operations for decades, Frontier’s past and present stood in stark contrast.