Originally created 06/14/06

Gamblers plead guilty to misdemeanor



Last year's gambling raids have so far ended with misdemeanor guilty pleas, including two more Tuesday.

Spiro Papadopoulis and William R. Giffin were initially charged with commercial gambling after a Jan. 28, 2005, raid of Mr. Papadopoulis' Washington Road office building. Investigators told The Augusta Chronicle they suspected the two men were partners in a high-stakes poker ring and charged gamblers to play.

Mr. Papadopoulis and Mr. Giffin pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to misdemeanor gambling Tuesday. Chief Judge William M. Fleming Jr. sentenced each to a 30-day suspended sentence after payment of a $1,000 fine.

District Attorney Danny Craig said the men agreed to a settlement of the civil forfeiture cases as part of the plea negotiation.

Mr. Griffin agreed to give the state $10,000, and he will get back $46,000 that was seized from his Martinez home the night of the raid.

Mr. Papadopoulis agreed to forfeit about $32,000 seized the night of the raid, but he will get back $9,600 that was taken from his business safe.

Mr. Papadopoulis, 40, runs a successful business, Augusta Communications, said his attorney, Pete Theodocion. He stressed that those arrested at the poker game are solid people.

Mr. Giffin runs a successful plumbing business, his attorney Edward Tolley said.

Two other men charged with commercial gambling in the raid already have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges: Richard Samonksy, 29, and Kenneth A. Cone, 35.

Charges are pending against a fifth man arrested that night, Richard Krom, 54.

Two men accused of running an illegal poker game in June 2005 pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges earlier this year in Richmond County Superior Court. Andrew J. Stewart, 44, and James Leonard Singletary, 50, were charged after a raid on Alexander Drive.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.