Former South Pittsburg, Tenn., Mayor and Co-conspirator Plead Guilty to Conducting Illegal Gambling Business
A former mayor of South Pittsburg, Tenn., and a co-conspirator pleaded guilty today in Chattanooga, Tenn., to conducting an illegal gambling business, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Moore of the FBI’s Knoxville, Tenn., Field Office.
Former South Pittsburg Mayor James Michael Killian, 56, and Robert Barry Cole, 53, both of South Pittsburg, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Curtis L. Collier in the Eastern District of Tennessee to criminal informations charging them each with one count of conducting an illegal gambling business.
According to court documents, Killian was mayor of South Pittsburg from 2005 until 2012. During that time, Killian conducted a gambling operation that involved video gambling machines located at a convenience store he owned in South Pittsburg. Killian also managed an “outlaw” lottery, in which bettors placed illegal bets on legal state lotteries.
In addition, Killian ran an illegal sports betting ring in partnership with Cole. Cole received sports bets, collected wagers and paid successful bettors their winnings, and Killian and Cole split the proceeds of the operation.
At sentencing, scheduled for Jan. 9, 2013, Killian and Cole both face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Killian is subject to criminal forfeiture of $38,475, four computers and 12 video gambling machines. Cole is subject to criminal forfeiture of $19,020, a ring appraised at $17,500 and two computers.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Mark Angehr, Barak Cohen and Peter Sprung of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and is being investigated by the FBI.