Alvarez pleads guilty to felony gambling charge

By on March 26, 2009

Former Emma’s Pub manager could face 6-year sentence
Michael A. Alvarez pleaded guilty March 17 to running an illegal gambling operation at the former Emma’s Pub & Cantina in downtown Elburn and at Miguel’s on the Fox in St. Charles.

Alvarez Sr., 53, of the 39W block of Hogan Hill, Elgin, pleaded guilty to one count of keeping a gambling place, a Class 4 felony in this case because of a prior conviction on the same charge.

Alvarez faces a sentence of probation, one to three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections or up to six years if the judge rules that Alvarez is eligible for an extended term based on his prior convictions, according to the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office.

A Kane County Grand Jury indicted Alvarez in April 2008 for running a Super Bowl pool between Sept. 1, 2006, and Feb. 28, 2007, at Emma’s and at Miguel’s, both owned by his wife, Kathleen Alvarez.

The Elburn Police Department participated in the investigation that led to the indictment. Two days before the indictment, Police Chief Jim Linane issued a complaint to the village’s liquor commission that Emma’s had violated its liquor license terms by holding illegal gambling on the pub’s premises.

Before the liquor commission hearing scheduled for April 29, 2008, on the matter, Kathleen Alvarez voluntarily gave up Emma’s liquor license and closed the restaurant soon afterward.

The gambling pool had a total value of $60,000 at $600 per square. Alvarez also was running smaller pools at the taverns, according to the State’s Attorney’s office.

Alvarez’s next court appearance is at 1 p.m. May 12 in Kane County Judicial Center Courtroom 217, for sentencing.

Alvarez has prior state and federal convictions on gambling offenses and has served prison sentences in IDOC and the federal penitentiary.

Alvarez remains free on $10,000 bond. He did not return phone calls from the Elburn Herald regarding his guilty plea.

Kane County Associate Judge James C. Hallock accepted the plea. Assistant State’s Attorneys Greg Sams and Adam Katz prosecuted the case.