LODI, Calif. (KTXL) – Nearly a year after Shakir “Shak” Khan was arrested on charges stemming from illegal gambling, he faced a judge for arraignment Tuesday.
Khan was running for Lodi City Council’s District 4 seat at the time and was elected after his arrest.
“We just ask that the public withhold judgment, and allow him to present his side of the story in a courtroom,” said criminal defense attorney Allen Sawyer.
Sawyer told FOX40 none of the charges are related to Khan’s council position and said he has no plans to give up his council seat.
“He’s done a fantastic job being a city council member over the last year. He has got a lot done and will continue to do so,” Sawyer said.
The 45-page criminal complaint lists the 48 charges Khan and his two brothers face, including numerous counts of illegal gambling, money laundering and tax evasion.
“This case is about taking advantage. It’s about taking advantage of the community of Lodi, San Joaquin County, and the people of the state of California,” said Deputy District Attorney Jeff Derman.
Derman said the investigation initially began after Khan’s October 2020 arrest along with his two brothers, Zakir Khan and Mohammad Khan, for running illegal internet gambling hubs at two of his businesses.
“They tend to attract other criminal elements going on drugs, prostitution, violent crimes auto thefts property crimes vandalisms and they create a blight in the neighborhood,” Derman said.
According to Sawyer, Shakir Khan no longer owned one of the businesses involved in the investigation.
Derman said the D.A.’s office brought in a forensic auditor who eventually uncovered Shakir Khan had also illegally taken money from the state for pandemic relief efforts.
“These kinds of crimes take, not weeks, not days not weeks but months, and many months,” Derman explained.
Both sides said they are positive they will get the outcome they want but agree this is a complex case that will take time.
“We’re confident that he will be found innocent of these charges,” Sawyer said.
“Our office stands by the fight for justice,” Derman explained.
Shakir Khan and his brothers are scheduled to be back in court Oct. 26. There’s still a lengthy legal process ahead before the case goes to trial.