Sumter Video Poker Operator Pleads Guilty to Gambling and Tax Violations
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Terry Land, of Sumter, South Carolina, has entered a guilty plea in federal court in Columbia, South Carolina, to tax evasion, a violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201. Additionally, Land entered a guilty plea to operating a gambling business, in violation of 18 U.S.C § 1955. Senior United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, of Columbia, accepted the guilty plea and will impose sentence after Judge Anderson has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Land became a target of an investigation due to a public corruption investigation that involved the video poker industry. The investigation revealed that several video poker companies were operating in and around the midlands, with Terry Land being involved with Lucky’s Cyber Center, Gamecock I, and Gamecock II. The investigation into these businesses found that Land had never filed any taxes as related to these businesses, in an interview he confessed. Moreover, the investigation found that Land would deposit money from his gambling business into his roofing business; that he failed to keep records of the money the gambling businesses made, and dealt solely in cash in operating the gambling business. A calculation of the criminal tax owing is $17,264, $36,918, and $4,221 for tax years 2011, 2012 and 2013 – totaling $58,304.
The gambling business operated machines in numerous locations over the period of time from 2011 to 2014. The purveyors of the different locations received a portion of the winnings of the machines. The machines that were operated are in violation of State gambling statute. Mrs. Drake stated the maximum penalty for tax evasion is imprisonment for 5 years and/or a fine of $100,000, and the maximum penalty for operating a gambling business is imprisonment for 5 years and/or a fine of $250,000.
The case was investigated by agents of the FBI, IRS-CID, SLED, and the South Carolina Attorney General's Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Jim May and Jay Richardson of the Columbia Office are prosecuting the case.