Last May, two poker clubs were raided in Houston, Texas. The Post Oak Poker Club and the Prime Social Club were subject to raids by the Vice Division of the police department in Houston, with nine individuals arrested between the two venues. All the individuals were charged with organized criminal activity as well as money laundering. Now it seems the charges have been dropped and a civil suit against the rooms no longer in play.
The charges were dismissed in mid-July by District Attorney Kim Ogg after it was found that the clubs paid Amir Mireskandari, the former consultant to DA Ogg, as well as others for protection. A total of $250,000 was given in exchange for a city ordinance to be drafted that would protect the gambling locations.
The ordinances were never officially drafted or voted on and the owners of the poker rooms are saying that they were tricked by city officials to think they were real. Ogg decided to drop the charges citing a potential conflict of interest.
According to Robert Soard, the First Assistant County Attorney, without a criminal conviction, there will be no base for the civil suit to stand on against the clubs. If there is no criminal investigation to rely on, there is essentially no reason for the case to be pursued in court.
If enough evidence can be gathered against the clubs, then Soard would be open to refiling the lawsuit. During the raid, just over $200,000 was seized from the two card rooms. According to Ogg the money is being returned.
The card rooms maintain that the lawsuit has no grounds with a spokesperson for the Prime Social Club calling the lawsuit a joke. Wayne Dolcefino stated that the lawsuit was a fake portrait created to justify the corrupt prosecution of the employees of Prime Social who had done nothing wrong.