Sumter man pleads guilty to tax evasion, video poker operations

Owed $58K to IRS in 2012-13 in all-cash gambling business


A Sumter man has pleaded guilty in federal court to tax evasion and operating a gambling business after becoming the subject of a public corruption investigation that involved the video poker industry.

Terry Land entered his guilty plea in Columbia to Senior U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, who will impose sentence after he has reviewed a presentence report.

Evidence presented, as told by U.S. Attorney Beth Drake, established that Land operated Lucky's Cyber Center, Gamecock I and Gamecock II, some of several video poker companies being run in and around the Midlands.

"The investigation into these businesses found that Land had never filed any taxes as related to these businesses, in an interview he confessed," Drake said in a news release. "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."

Land's criminal tax owing is $17,264 in 2011, $36,918 in 2012 and $4,221 in 2013 — totaling $58,304.

"The gambling business operated machines in numerous locations over the period of time from 2011 to 2014," Drake wrote. "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 statue."

The maximum penalty for tax evasion is imprisonment for five years and/or a fine of $100,000, and the maximum penalty for operating a gambling business is imprisonment for five years and/or a fine of $250,000.

A booking photo of Land was not immediately available because he was not arrested by a local law enforcement agency.

The case was investigated by agents of the FBI, IRS-CID, SLED and the South Carolina Attorney General's Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jim May and Jay Richardson of the Columbia office are prosecuting the case.