Posted on January 25, 2013 at 8:14 AM
Friday, Jan 25 at 6:18 PM
AUSTIN -- Sentences have been handed down for two brothers accused of a money laundering scheme.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks sentenced Mike Yassine to 151 months -- over 12 years -- in federal prison and Hadi Yassine to 60 months, five years.
FBI and federal agents raided eight of the Yassine Enterprise's downtown and 6th Street nightclubs, including Kiss 'N Fly, Pure and Treasure Island.
Friday morning the brothers appeared in federal court before Judge Sparks for sentencing. Both were facing federal prison time, up to 20 years each.
"It's not fair," said a supporter who walked away from the courthouse with tears in her eyes.
On October 2, 2012, following a seven-day trial, the jury found Mike Yassine guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and three counts of money laundering. The jury convicted Hadi Yassine on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and two counts of money laundering.
They jury found that in 2008 and 2009 Mike and Hadi Yassine used their downtown businesses to launder at least $200,000 from narcotics trafficking.
After Mike and Hadi Yassine serve their entire sentences, they will be deported.
Hadi gave Judge Sparks his word that he would not violate terms of his bond. In exchange Judge Sparks allowed him one last time to go home and see his young son. Mike has remained in jail.
A third brother, Steve Yassine, was found not guilty by the same jury. He later pled guilty to separate drug charges. As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Steve will serve a year and one day in prison, followed by deportation.
In addition, Judge Sparks has ordered Mike Yassine to pay a fine of $60,000 and Hadi to pay $30,000.
Lawyers for the Yassines said they could not comment. They have the right to appeal within 14 days. Mike Yassine's lawyer says, "It's an option," but would not confirm whether they plan to appeal.
Family members say they feel like the punishment is harsh, considering the dollar amounts in question.
Agents arrested a total of 11 people following the FBI raid back in March 2012. One other person has entered into a plea deal with prosecutors. Trials are pending for everyone else.
Former Yassine Enterprises bars
- Fuel, 607 Trinity St.
- Hyde, 213 W. Fourth St. (Also site of Yassine Enterprises headquarters)
- Kiss & Fly, 404 Colorado St.
- Malaia, 300 E. Sixth St.
- Pure, 419 E. Sixth St.
- Roial, 120 W. Fifth St.
- Spill, 212 E. Sixth St.
- Stack Burger Bar, 208 W. Fourth St.
- Treasure Island, 413 E. Sixth St.