On December 9, the Palomar Card Club was named as one of many illegal gambling operations that had laundered a total of approximately $10 million in proceeds.
Two days later, on December 11, the club was named in a wrongful-termination lawsuit brought by a former employee. Netrnaree Sukrachan, a former food server, filed the complaint against the club's owners and top managers.
Sukrachan started work at the card club in November 2010. Shortly after getting hired, Sukrachan claims she began to hear inappropriate comments from her boss, the club's floor supervisor, Tomasito Hanna.
Hanna allegedly called Sukrachan a "young, dumb Asian." He allegedly told her and others that he considered women to be "pathetic, money sucking bitches." Sukrachan claims she was accused of being lazy and worthless. She often caught Hanna, according to the complaint, staring at her breasts whenever she knelt down.
The behavior worsened over the course of Sukrachan's employment, she claims. He allegedly asked whether she had ever been with a Chaldean before, telling her that Chaldean men "were better lovers than whites or Asians" and that she would love his "Chaldean banana."
When Sukrachan told Hanna that she had a white boyfriend, Hanna allegedly told Sukrachan that her boyfriend was "dumb...just another stupid American like those who tried to steal my country."
Sukrachan complained to the club's human resources department. Employees there said Sukrachan was too "sensitive." Sukrachan subsequently resigned in February of this year.
"Defendants failed to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent harassment and retaliation in employment from occurring," reads the lawsuit. "Further, said Defendants knew or should have known of the harassment and retaliation against [Sukrachan] described herein, yet failed to conduct an adequate investigation into the nature and substance of the harassment/retaliation and failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action so as to discipline any of the offenders."
The lawsuit comes after federal agents raided the club while investigating what is called the largest illegal gambling operation in San Diego County "in recent memory." According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 25 people were charged with participating in the gambling and money-laundering scheme that is said to have involved the Palomar Card Club and the Seven Mile Casino in Chula Vista.
Investigators discovered that the clubs funneled money from an illegal bookmaking operation. The clubs also allegedly played some role in off-site, high-stakes poker games, often held in ritzy Rancho Santa Fe mansions with "professional card dealers, prostitutes, chefs and waitresses."