DENVER (CBS4) – There’s been a guilty plea in a large-scale gambling operation in Denver in a case that could damage the reputations of some prominent people.
The client list remains sealed, but that may not last for long. The gambling ring solicited bets in more than a half-dozen exclusive country clubs using accomplices and an off-shore website to take bets and keep a low profile, all while millions of dollars were on the table every week.
Kerwin Sande saw major sports as a cash cow. A 32-page plea agreement detailed how Sande used the NBA, college sports, and the NFL to run an elaborate and enormous gambling ring that on the weekend brought in $4 million to $7 million in wagers.
The illegal betting operation cost Sande’s clients millions. One source told the FBI they had lost $2 million to $5 million in bets in three years and owed nearly $1 million to Sande in gambling debts.
Sande accepted payments through cash, wire transfers, vehicles and valuable coins. He shipped money out hidden in the pages of magazines. He pleaded guilty to money laundering and running the illegal gambling operation.
The names of the bettors have not been made public, but are said to be major names in the community.
In the plea the government seized $2.5 million of Sande’s property and assets, only allowing him to keep $500,000 he had through legitimate means. He’ll even lose a lavish home in the Cherry Creek Country Club.
He declined a meeting with CBS4 on Friday.
Sande will be sentenced in November but the case isn’t over. The investigation is on-going an could eventually lead to charges filed against couriers, middle men and some of the gamblers who used the organization.