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Theft charge dismissed in Colorado casino heist


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An investigation found a casino employee thought she was taking direction from a supervisor when she removed $500,000 from Monarch Casino, prosecutors said.

BLACK HAWK, Colo. — Prosecutors have dismissed charges against a woman who was accused of stealing $500,000 in cash from a Black Hawk casino, saying an investigation found the woman was likely caught up in a conspiracy to trick her into taking the money. 

Sabrina Eddy was previously charged with theft. According to an affidavit written by a Division of Gaming investigator, Eddy was working as a cashier at Monarch Casino when, around 12:45 a.m. the morning of March 12, 2023, she was captured on video reaching into the vault of the casino’s cage and grabbing bricks of $50,000 each. 

The affidavit said Eddy walked out of the casino cage to the parking garage, got into a gold minivan and drove off. She returned an hour later, investigators said, and grabbed four more bricks of bills — for a total of half a million dollars in all — before driving off again.

From March 2023: Black Hawk casino heist is largest in Colorado history

At a hearing Friday, prosecutors moved to dismiss the case against Eddy. A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said since the charges were filed, they had been working with the Colorado Division of Gaming and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation on the case. 

The investigation, prosecutors said, included more than 18,000 pages of discovery, including phone records, video surveillance, witness interviews, banking records, wire transfers and text messages. 

“This investigation revealed a conspiracy that likely originated outside the United States which sought to compel or trick a casino cage employee into removing money from the premises and delivering it to someone purporting to be associated with the casino,” the spokesperson said in an email. “Similar schemes targeting cage employees were perpetrated against casinos across the nation in the summer of 2023.”

Prosecutors said the investigation found “the defendant believed she was acting under the color of authority and at the direction of a casino supervisor and executive when she removed the money from the casino and delivered it to an individual at the direction of a person now believed to have been a member of the scheme.”

“Investigation further revealed that the defendant did not and has not received any financial benefit or windfall as a result of the removal of the money from the casino,” prosecutors said.

One person pleaded guilty and was sentenced for his involvement in the case. In March, Juan Gutierrez-Zambrano pleaded guilty to one felony count and one misdemeanor count of criminal mischief. Two felony theft charges were dropped as a result of the plea. 

The cashier’s arrest affidavit says she packed the money into boxes, placed rags on top of it, sealed the boxes shut and delivered it to someone in the parking lot at St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood in two trips in her minivan. Gutierrez-Zambrano was believed to be the person she delivered the money to.

Gutierrez-Zambrano was sentenced in April to four and a half years in prison. 

Prosecutors said an arrest warrant has been issued for a second suspect in connection with the case. No information was immediately available about that suspect, who prosecutors said “is believed to be outside the United States.” 

From April: Man sentenced for role in Monarch Casino heist

From March 2023: A little-known state agency is in charge of investigating casino heists in Colorado



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Theft charge dismissed in Colorado casino heist

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