Oct. 6-A judge on Thursday found that there was sufficient evidence to send all four co-defendants of the alleged Top Dollar Pawn money-laundering scheme to a jury trial.
A grand jury indicted Daria Mauro, Walt Mauro, Mischa Jargowsky and Jack Jargowsky in June, and Judge David Gilbert found sufficient evidence to support the indictment and bound the group over for trial.
During Thursday's hearing, defense attorneys argued that there wasn't sufficient evidence to prove that each co-defendant knew of the scheme that was taking place, and that the grand jury indictment was done improperly with false evidence being provided by the prosecution.
The prosecution argued that while some of the defendants may have played a larger role in the scheme than others, they were all complicit in the money laundering taking place at the business, and profiting from it.
Gilbert agreed with the prosecution, but said Jack Jargowsky's case was "closer" than the other three defendants because he was primarily involved as a "maintenance man" and had little interaction, if any, in the day-to-day operations of the store that has multiple locations in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.
The defendants are accused of laundering money over four years at Top Dollar Pawn locations, a scheme that investigators say resulted in the transfer of more than $1.3 million in stolen goods.
Court records obtained by The Gazette allege that Top Dollar Pawn employees knowingly accepted stolen goods still in packaging from boosters and would sell those items in their stores or on their online eBay store for a profit.
Boosters steal merchandise, usually from retail outlets. They often work in concert with others as part of a "booster crew."
Colorado law requires that pawnbrokers must be given a receipt of purchase on all items still considered "new" and in-packaging to confirm that these items were not stolen. Pawnbrokers are also required to keep an electronic record of these items, as well as document the identification number of the pawned item and the identification of the seller. Records obtained by The Gazette allege that Top Dollar Pawn ignored both of these requirements.
All four co-defendants are accused of 29 charges, including pattern of racketeering and 27 separate charges of money laundering.
The co-defendants are expected to enter a plea on the charges they face at a disposition hearing scheduled for Nov. 29. They were arrested on charges relating to the money-laundering scheme, and subsequently posted the $50,000 bond to be released.
All Top Dollar Pawn locations, two in Colorado Springs and two in Pueblo, remain closed.