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Ogg sued by targets of failed poker club prosecution | #employeefraud | #recruitment | #corporatesecurity | #businesssecurity | #


The targets of a failed gambling probe last year by Harris County prosecutors sued District Attorney Kim Ogg this week, alleging malicious prosecution and false arrest.

The allegations are detailed in two lawsuits. One was filed by Post Oak Poker Club partners Daniel Kebort, William Heur III, Sergio D. Cabreba and Alan Chodrow. Stephen Farshid, a former employee of Prime Social Poker Club, brought the other.

Ogg declined to comment on the lawsuits, both of which were filed in state district court Thursday.

The district attorney’s office charged nine employees of the west Houston poker rooms with felonies including engaging in organized criminal activity, gambling promotion and money laundering after police raided the clubs last May.

In July, Ogg’s office said in court papers prosecutors were dismissing the cases because of “a potential conflict of interest due to [an] employee being called as a witness.”

Ogg later confirmed that Amir Mireskandari, a large donor to her political campaigns whom she had hired as a financial crimes consultant, was one of several conflicts that led her to dismiss the case.

She gave the case files to the FBI; federal prosecutors have taken no public action on the case.

Both lawsuits also name Mireskandari and private investigator Tim Wilson as defendants. The Post Oak suit accuses the pair of conspiracy and fraud.

The suit claims Wilson solicited from the Post Oak partners $250,000 in order for he and Mireskandari to secure a poker club license from the city of Houston. The suit states the club owners later concluded the license was fictitious.

The city of Houston has no permit or licensing system for poker clubs.

The suit by Farshid, the former Prime Social employee, accuses Ogg and Mireskandari of malicious prosecution, false arrest, defamation and infliction of emotional distress.

Joseph Sandler, an attorney for Mireskandari, said the allegation lacks merit.

“The suit is baseless and frivolous and we are confident the suit will be thrown out in short order,” Sandler said in a statement.

Mireskandari told the Houston Chronicle last year he worked for Wilson on behalf of Prime Social. Wilson could not be reached for comment Friday.

The Post Oak suit also names Houston City Councilman Greg Travis as a defendant, accusing him of business disparagement, defamation and inflicting emotional distress for statements he made suggesting the club was operating outside the law. Travis dismissed the suit as an attention-grabbing stunt that would be thrown out of court.

“This is a bull—- lawsuit,” he said.

Both suits, which were brought by Houston attorneys Eric Cassidy and Michael Wynne, seek unspecified damages and attorneys fees.

zach.despart@chron.com



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