Wichita businessman pleads guilty to federal gambling charge

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A prominent Wichita businessman has pleaded guilty to a federal gambling charge and agreed to forfeit $97,600 in proceeds. 

U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said 41-year-old Johnny Steven was sentenced Wednesday to being an accessory after the fact to the unlawful transmission of wagering information. He was sentenced to 12 months of supervised probation. 

It's the same charge his brother, Brandon Steven, pleaded guilty to in June.

In his plea, Steven admitted he acted in cooperation with co-defendant Daven Flax, who was conducting illegal private poker games in Wichita. Participants were notified via text message about the games. The texts also contained information about payments or collections of money.

After games, Steven concealed the involvement of Flax and others by hiding handwritten ledgers or computerized records detailing gambling credits, earnings and obligations of the gambling business.

The Steven brothers are partners in health clubs, auto dealerships and other enterprises in Wichita.


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A prominent Wichita businessowner is facing federal gambling charge.

Johnny Steven is set to appear in federal court Wednesday morning. Court documents show Steven was charged Monday with being an accessory after the fact to the transmission of wagering information. Prosecutors allege he helped a person identified as "D.F." try to avoid prosecution.

This is the same charge his brother, Brandon Steven, pleaded guilty to in June.

Brandon Steven, 45, was sentenced in 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.

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

The Steven brothers are partners in health clubs, auto dealerships and other enterprises in Wichita.

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