Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigators served search warrants on a small casino in Huntington Park this week, seizing records and forcing the closure of the club for four hours, officials said Thursday.
The management of the Huntington Park Casino is the subject of a 10-month investigation, said Deputy George Ducoulombier.
Search warrants were also served on three other locations, but records detailing which documents were confiscated were unavailable Thursday. There were no arrests.
Records were seized from the Huntington Park Club Corp., the general partner that manages the Huntington Park Casino, sheriff's deputies said. Curtis J. Fresch, 39, is manager of the casino and president of the corporation.
Investigators also seized documents from H.P. Disposal Co., of which Curtis Fresch's father, Eugene C. Fresch, 68, is president and primary owner. Sheriff's investigators would not disclose the other locations that were searched.
The Fresches could not be reached for comment Thursday. A source close to the investigation said the probe was based on tips provided by a disgruntled former employee of H.P. Disposal Co.
State employment and alcoholic beverage control officials were present during the searches. Representatives of the Internal Revenue Service and Los Angeles County district attorney's office also accompanied deputies, Ducoulombier said.
City officials on Thursday were awaiting word of the investigation. The stability of the casino is critical to Huntington Park because it provides the city with revenues of about $500,000 a year, according to city records.
"It's probably (worth) about five policemen," Councilman William P. Cunningham said. "They are the largest taxpayer in the city."
Sheriff's Detective Zoe Grillas confirmed the search took place but declined to reveal details of the allegations.
Eugene Fresch and his brother, Eric T. Fresch, opened the casino in 1984. Their father, a former Las Vegas casino owner, founded H.P. Disposal in May, 1988.
The City Council fired its previous trash hauler--Laidlaw Waste Systems Inc.--and awarded the contract to H.P. Disposal a month later, even though Fresch was new to the business, city officials said.
Other trash firms offered the city higher franchise fees, records show. The contract with H.P. Disposal generates about $1.5 million a year in gross billings.
Mayor Thomas E. Jackson, who spearheaded the trash hauling negotiations for the city, said at the time that he was a friend of the Fresches and trusted them to do an excellent job.