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Press Release

Former Tennessee Mayor and Associate Sentenced
for Running Illegal Gambling Business

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A former mayor of South Pittsburg, Tenn., and an associate were sentenced today in Chattanooga, Tenn., for managing an illegal gambling business, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Kenneth L. Moore of the FBI’s Knoxville Division.

Former South Pittsburg Mayor James Michael Killian, 56, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Curtis L. Collier in the Eastern District of Tennessee to serve six months in prison, followed by 12 months of home confinement. In addition to his prison term, Killian was sentenced to serve two years of supervised release and ordered to pay a fine of $30,000. His associate in the gambling operation, Robert Barry Cole, 53, of South Pittsburg, was sentenced to serve three months in prison, followed by six months of home confinement. He will serve two years of supervised release and was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine.

Killian was mayor of South Pittsburg from 2005 until 2012. During that time, he conducted a gambling operation that involved video gambling machines located at a convenience store he owned in South Pittsburg. Killian also managed an illegal 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.

This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Trial Attorney Mark Angehr of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.


Updated September 15, 2014

Press Release Number: 14-023