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DNA Evidence Links Top Military Official To Counterfeit Poker Chips

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DNA Evidence Links Top Military Official To Counterfeit Poker Chips

Post by jock2007 on Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:16 pm

What would land most in prison for years resulted in a simple demotion this summer for a former U.S. nuclear weapons commander. New details in the case leave little doubt that he did in fact counterfeit the poker chips and used them at an Iowa casino, according to a report from

Pottawattamie County prosecutor Matt Wilber said this weekend that DNA evidence was found that heavily suggests Navy Rear Adm. Timothy Giardina, known as “Navy Tim” in the poker room, actually made the three phony $500 chips and put them in play in a cash game.

The World-Herald and the Associated Press filed Freedom of Information Act requests that showed what the Navy’s internal investigation uncovered from the incident at Horseshoe Council Bluffs in 2013.

Giardina admitted that he originally lied to investigators.

Giardina once said that he found the chips in the bathroom before using them at the table. He later said he bought $2,000 worth of chips at a discount from a gambler in the bathroom. He eventually recanted and went back to his story about finding them. Despite the revelations this weekend, he still maintains that he didn’t make the fake chips or play any role whatsoever in the counterfeiting.

That doesn’t fit with what the government found, reported the The World-Herald.

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Lab, which examined the chips, found that the center markings of a real $500 chip from the Horseshoe Casino had been either photocopied or scanned onto an adhesive paper. That paper was then attached to a $1 chip that had been doctored with purple paint to resemble a $500 chip. The lab was unable to lift any fingerprints from the gambling chips. But last winter technicians linked a DNA sample from Giardina to DNA found on the back of the adhesive paper.

Despite Giardina’s alleged behavior being a felony in Iowa, he was able to say he didn’t want anyone to search his Offutt Air Force Base quarters—and thus no one did. Though, someone who worked for him said that Giardina had a computer and printer in his home, along with a painting studio, which suggests he was capable of making the phony chips the casino found.

Giardina has received a lifetime ban from all Caesars properties.

None of this information becoming public will result in any further punishment for Giardina, the report said. As mentioned, he was demoted to a job in Washington and also fined $4,000. Law enforcement in Iowa can focus on busting innocent poker players driving through the state with their bankrolls.
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