Former Fed on Probe of Wichita Poker Pro: ‘Timing of Letters Unusual’

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A former US federal agent tells the local Wichita, Kansas affiliate KAKE that the timing of letters notifying a handful of area businessmen that their phone calls had been intercepted is highly unusual at this stage of the game.

“Normally those types of notifications are made or affected after the indictment rather than before,” former agent Danny Defenbaugh told the news station.

Last week it was revealed that businessman Brandon Steven, whose family owns car dealerships in the Wichita area, was the subject of a probe.  Steven himself said he believes it has something to do with his high stakes poker activity. 

Steven told the Wichita Eagle: “I’m aware of the broad nature of this inquiry. As you know and everybody knows, I play high-stakes poker.

“And from what we understand, they are looking into my poker and my involvement with Castle Rock Casino.”

Steven’s was making reference to a failed bid to develop a casino in the southeast of the state.

Days later, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback confirmed his office had received a letter from the U.S. Justice Department about the federal government intercepting calls to his office from an ex-legislator’s number.

“Quite frankly, it is something that is rarely advertised,” Defenbaugh said of the notices sent out alerting of the phone intercepts.

Steven is a highly successful poker pro who has won over $3 million in live poker tournaments to date.

- Ace King,

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