Attorney General announces 16-year sentence for ringleader of illegal gambling, loan sharking ring

DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that a Jefferson County District Court judge has sentenced Jeffrey Castardi (DOB: 5/23/1961) to 16 years in prison 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 and its partners in law enforcement take the problems posed by illegal gambling operations very seriously,” Suthers said. “Mr. Castardi’s sentence should underline that we will vigorously pursue anyone who violates Colorado’s organized crime laws.”

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 Gin Rummy Club 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 pleaded guilty to violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, a class two felony, on Oct. 26, 2009.

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