Harris County Attorney Ryan files lawsuits to close two illegal poker clubs

By David Yates | May 2, 2019

HOUSTON - Harris County Attorney Ryan filed lawsuits on Wednesday seeking to close two illegal poker clubs operating in Houston.

The lawsuits were filed against the owners of the Post Oak Poker Club and Prime Social Club. The filing was in coordination with efforts by the Houston Police Department and Harris County District Attorney’s Office, which executed search and arrest warrants at each location, also on Wednesday, for engaging in organized criminal activity, money laundering and gambling promotion.

One lawsuit was filed against KHC LLC, doing business as Post Oak Poker Club at 1001 West Loop South, Suite 400,  and owners Daniel J. Kebort, William Heuer III, Sergio D. Cabrera, Alan Chodrow and Kevin Chodrow.

The second lawsuit was filed against Bayou Social Club, LLC, doing business as Prime Social Club at 7801 Westheimer, and owners and managers Dean H. Maddox, Brent J. Pollack and Dean Farshid.

The county attorney’s lawsuit claims that both clubs are open seven days a week for the purpose of illegal gambling. The defendants named in the civil lawsuit are accused of owning and maintaining a nuisance at the poker rooms by promoting gambling, laundering money and engaging in organized criminal activity.

In both cases, Houston Police Department undercover officers went to the clubs posing as customers and were asked to pay a membership fee, a door fee and a fee to play at a poker table inside the clubs.  On each occasion, officers observed large numbers of patrons inside playing at the poker tables. HPD officers bought poker chips to bet on a poker game and at the end of the operation, the officers were able to turn in their chips and collect cash winnings from employees at the clubs.

In addition, HPD was called to Prime Social Club a number of times in 2018 for incidents involving theft and terroristic threats related to the activity taking place inside the business.

As part of the investigation, a Fraud Examiner with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office also reviewed the financial records for the two clubs.  Bank records showed deposits of over four million dollars between August 2, 2017, through September 27, 2018, for Post Oak Poker Club and over six million dollars for Prime Social Club from October 31, 2017, to January 31, 2019.  A large portion of this money was deposited as cash payments in both accounts.

County Attorney Ryan is asking the court for temporary and permanent injunctions to enjoin the Defendants from maintaining the illicit poker rooms.

“These illegal clubs have operated outside the law making millions for their owners,” said Ryan. “We will not let the defendants get away with these illegal activities that hurt the entire county.”

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