Prime Social Poker Club to reopen after charges against owners dropped, spokesman says

By Aaron Barker - Senior Digital Editor

HOUSTON - A Houston poker club that was closed after authorities raided the business earlier this year will reopen, a spokesman for the establishment said Wednesday.

Wayne Dolcefino, a consultant representing Prime Social Poker Club on Westheimer Road, said the card-playing business will reopen within the next few weeks. The announcement comes a day after prosecutors said money laundering charges against the owners who were arrested during the May raid were dismissed because of a conflict of interest.

Attorney Joe Magliolo, who represented the owners of the club, said his clients believed they were operating within the law and were told as much by a person working in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. He said an investigation by his law firm determined those claims were true and that information was presented to the DA's office.

“I think (District Attorney) Kim (Ogg) took a personal interest in it and examined the information, and the next thing we heard, the cases against the four defendants were dismissed," Magliolo said.

Prosecutors said they were working to return the more than $200,000 that was seized during the raids on both the Prime Social Poker Club and the Post Oak Poker Club. A total of nine people from each of the clubs were arrested as part of the investigation. All charges were dismissed Tuesday.

Magliolo said that the owners of the Prime Social Poker Club were inspected by a team from the FBI and were even complimented on their money-laundering prevention system.

Dolcefino said the club had about 11,000 members at the time it was raided, and those members should feel assured that the club owners are doing everything they can to ensure they are legally operating.

Prosecutors said the case has been referred to the FBI for review.

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