On September 21st, 2007, well-known poker pro Sean Sheikhan is facing deportation proceedings to his native country of Iran because of a 1995 sexual battery charge for which he has already served more than nine months in jail.
The U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency usually looks for foreign nationals who were convicted of any kind of sexual offense against children and tries to get them deported back to their country of origin.
Sheikhan's lawyer, David Chesnoff, commented that the person in this case was a seventeen year old girl that Sheikhan knew when he was just in his early 20's. Chesnoff said that Sheikhan is a good husband and father and this kind of thing should not haunt him for the rest of his life.
Chesnoff and his legal team are also studying on whether Sheikhan received enough legal information the first time the case was heard in California. If he didn't, then it is possible that the charges could be taken out of his legal record.
Sheikhan immigrated to the United States when he was just nine years old. He is married to an American-born woman and has a small child. But that does not matter to the ICE, who wants to kick Sheikhan out of the country. Sheikhan was arrested by the ICE at his residence in Las Vegas on August 30th, 2007 and jailed for 5 days at the North Las Vegas Detention Center before Chesnoff could get him released on a $10,000 bail.
The ICE wanted to jail Sheikhan until his hearing and even made some moves to stop the release. But a judge granted Sheikhan bail. ICE said that they have arrested more than 9,300 people since they have begun Operation Predator in 2003.
It was started by the Homeland Security to protect kids from sexual predators. It does not hold any bearing to the ICE or Congress if the foreign national has already been indicted and punished in the U.S. Sheikhan, who real name is Shahram, has more than $1.2 million in total winnings and is one of the most recognizable poker players all over the world.
His matches with mike matusow at the Word Series of Poker and his appearances on High Stakes Poker have helped boost Sheikhan's popularity. He has two second place and third place finished in wsop events since the year 2001.
October 10, 2007