Thursday, December 9, 2021

Lodi city councilman Shak Khan arraigned on money laundering, tax evasion charges

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Lodi city councilman Shakir Khan is facing accusations of illegal gambling, EDD fraud, tax evasion and money laundering. He was arraigned in court Tuesday afternoon.

Khan wasn’t alone during the arraignment. Prosecutors said he was arraigned in conjunction with co-defendant Zakir Khan, and said that Mohammed Khan, another co-defendant, will be arraigned on Oct. 26.

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The defendants allegedly had an illegal gambling operation out of two Stockton businesses and laundered the profits, according the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office. The Lodi councilman was also accused of illegally receiving money from the state during the state’s pandemic relief efforts.

“Cases involving money laundering, fraud, and tax evasion are very complex and require an inordinate amount of resources to prove,” said District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar in a news release. “Integrity matters, the truth matters, and our office prosecutes those who prey on and take advantage of marginalized communities.”

 The defendants went before Judge Ronald Northrup and were released on their own recognizance. However, prosecutors said they were searchable for any signs of gambling, have to turn over their passports, can’t travel out of state and were placed on pre-trial monitoring.

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Their next court day is Oct. 26. at 8:30 a.m.

“I would like to recognize San Joaquin County Sheriff Pat Withrow and his dedicated detectives for their hard-work and relentless pursuit of justice in this case. Due to their interagency cooperation with the Bureau of Investigations, we are able to move forward with charges,” Verber Salazar said. “Our thoughts are with the Pakistani community during this time. The Family Justice Center is open and available with resources for anyone who needs assistance.”

ABC10 reached out to the City of Lodi for comment, but a spokesperson said they have no comment at this time.

Allen Sawyer, attorney for Councilman Khan, told ABC10 that Khan was arraigned on old allegations regarding a business that he sold and that was later alleged to be involved with internet gambling.

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“Mr. Khan denies these charges and looks forward to clearing his name,” Sawyer said, in part. “None of these allegations involve his office of City Council. Mr. Khan has no intentions of resigning his office.”

“Mr. Khan asks the public that they withhold judgment and that he be afforded the presumption of innocence,” Sawyer added.

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