Attorney General announces guilty plea from ringleader of illegal gambling, loan sharking ring

DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that Jeffrey Castardi (DOB: 5/23/1961) has pleaded guilty to violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, a class-two felony, for his role in running an illegal gambling ring that centered around the Gin Rummy Club, 2380 South Broadway in Denver.

According to the indictment, Castardi and members of his criminal enterprise acquired significant sums of money between May 2003 and late 2008 through unregulated poker and sportsbook play. The operation allegedly collected the money, owed as a result of individuals accumulating sizeable gambling debts, through a complex, persistent and intimidating system of individual debt collectors, front businesses and various bank accounts. Castardi and his codefendants were suspected of violating numerous provisions of state law, including running an illegal professional gambling and bookmaking business, loan-sharking, money laundering, tax evasion, theft and unlawful debt collection.

The Office of the Attorney General, in partnership with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s Gaming Unit, the Denver Police Department and the Colorado Department of Revenue, toppled the gambling ring earlier this year as part of “Operation Aces and Eights.” The Statewide Grand Jury issued an indictment for Castardi on Feb. 13, 2009.

Castardi is scheduled to be sentenced Dec.14, 2009 at 1:30 p.m. in Jefferson County District Court. He could face anywhere from eight to 24 years in prison.

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