Wichita businessman Johnny Steven forfeits $97,600, pleads guilty in gambling investigation

Published: Nov. 20, 2019 at 1:12 PM CST
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Wichita businessman Johnny Steven pleaded guilty to his role in an illegal gambling operation that was uncovered by the FBI.

Steven, 41, of Wichita, was sentenced Tuesday to 12 months federal probation and agreed to forfeit $97,600 derived from gambling proceeds.

Steven pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to the unlawful transmission of wagering information, according to U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister.

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 messaging 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.

In June 2019, Steven's brother,

was sentenced to three years probation and 200 hours of community service. He also presented a check for nearly $1.1 million to the U.S. Marshal's Office, which represents his proceeds from the crimes.