DA Drops Charges Against Colorado Casino Employee Duped by Thieves

Land Based Casinos Crime
Edward Scimia

Updated by Edward Scimia


Last Updated 12th Jun 2024, 12:10 AM

DA Drops Charges Against Colorado Casino Employee Duped by Thieves

Colorado prosecutors have dropped all charges against former Monarch Casino Resort and Spa employee Sabrina Eddy, saying they’ve concluded that she did not steal the money and was likely scammed by thieves instead. 

During a court hearing on Friday, prosecutors from the First Judicial District Attorney’s office said they could not ethically proceed with the case against Eddy, as their investigations revealed she did not profit from the theft, one that echoed other similar schemes that took place across the United States last summer.

Employee Delivers $500k to ‘Lawyer’ at Hospital

The theft took place on March 12, 2023. Eddy was employed as a cage cashier at the Monarch Casino, and received a call on the casino’s phone just before 1 am from a man who claimed to be the casino’s head of operations. Eddy also received text messages from a person that she believed was her immediate supervisor at the casino.

The messages instructed Eddy to bring $300,000 to a lawyer who was going to protect the casino from being “in breach of contract” after the casino was having difficulty with the delivery of equipment. Eddy was instructed to meet the lawyer at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood. 

Eddy pulled bricks of cash from the cage, put them in boxes, and then drove to the casino, where she handed the cash to a man she believed to be the attorney. At 3 am, Eddy was texted again with instructions to provide the lawyer with another $200,000, which she again delivered to the hospital. 

After the second delivery, Eddy was told to wait at the hospital. That’s when Eddy tried to call back the individuals she thought were her superiors. When they didn’t answer, Eddy called the casino, admitted taking the money, and expressed concern that she might be arrested.

Mexican National Charged with Criminal Mischief 

The man who received the cash was identified as Juan Ivan Gutierrez Zambrano. The Mexican citizen pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal mischief, including one felony charge. Prosecutors allege that Zambrano was paid to receive the cash. A sealed arrest warrant has also been issued for another suspect who is not believed to be in the United States.

Initially, Eddy was arrested and charged with one count of felony theft. However, she maintained that she thought she was only following instructions from her bosses, a characterization that prosecutors came to believe after their investigation. 

“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,” read a statement sent to FOX 31 Denver from the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office. “Because of the reasons stated above, we would be unable to meet our burden of proof at trial as it pertains to this defendant on the ‘knowingly and without authorization’ element of the charged theft statute.”

As prosecutors noted, the Monarch Casino theft was not a unique crime in 2023. In July, an employee of the Four Winds Casino is Michigan was similarly duped into giving away $700,000 to a Mexican national named Jesus Gaytan-Garcia at a gas station in Gary. Gaytan-Garcia was arrested in March 2024. A similar case resulted in the theft of $1.17 million from the Circa Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in June 2023.

(Image: courtesy of CasinoCareers.com)

Meet The Author

16 Years
Edward Scimia
Edward Scimia
Journalist Journalist

Ed Scimia is a freelance writer who has been covering the gaming industry since 2008. He graduated from Syracuse University in 2003 with degrees in Magazine Journalism and Political Science. In his time as a freelancer, Ed has worked for About.com, Gambling.com, and Covers.com, among other sites. He has also authored multiple books and enjoys curling competitively, which has led to him creating curling-related content for his YouTube channel "Chess on Ice."

Read Full Bio

Test Your Luck
Not Your Spam Filter

Sign up to receive emails and promotions from Casinos.com

Casinos.com Email Signup Coins