Poker Pro Spared Prison Term: Indictment Unsealed Tuesday

Written by:
Nagesh Rath
Published on:

A federal magistrate has spared a Wichita businessman prison time after he pleaded guilty for his role in concealing the transfer of betting information from illegal poker games. 

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Brandon Steven was sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation and 200 hours of community service. He also forfeited nearly $1.1 million as part of a plea deal on one misdemeanor count of being an accessory after the fact to the transmission of wagering information.

Gambling911.com has covered this probe over the past two years.  It was believed to have been started years prior to said coverage.

Prosecutors say Steven assisted a person prevent apprehension, trial or punishment related to illegal gambling.

Steven and his brother are partners in health clubs, auto dealerships and other enterprises in Wichita.  Steven has won well over $3 million in live poker tournaments over the years.

The case against Steven was unsealed Tuesday just hours before a plea hearing in federal court in Wichita. Prosecutors had filed a sealed criminal information last week accusing Steven of assisting a person, only as D.F., in order to prevent apprehension, trial or punishment.

Steven told the Wichita Eagle last year he was the subject of a federal inquiry into his playing of high-stakes poker and his involvement in trying to open a Kansas casino.

It is unclear whether the misdemeanor charge he now faces relates to that gambling probe .

- Nagesh Rath, Gambling911.com, The Associated Press was used for this report