Saturday, April 17, 2021

Former Florence County Sheriff’s Lieutenant indicted on public corruption

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A South Carolina Grand Jury issued an indictment against former Florence County Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Edward Fuleihan for an Ethics Act bribery charge, according to a release from South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office.

Fuleihan, 48, was arrested on April 2 and has served the Florence County Sheriff’s Office since 1995.

Sheriff Wiliam “Billy” Barnes dismissed Fuleihan from his position prior to his arrest. Sheriff Barnes also said he was aware of the investigation at the time because he and Chief Glenn Kirby discussed the problem.

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Officials said the investigation into Fuleihan began with a request from the Florence County Sheriff’s Office after it received information about Fuleihan’s alleged involvement in illegal gaming.

If convicted on the felony charge, Fuleihan faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of not more than $10,000. He would also be permanently barred from being a public official.

The warrant reads as follows:

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“Between April 2017 and March 2020, Special Agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) conducted an investigation regarding public corruption within an illegal gambling organization operating in Florence County, SC. The investigation identified multiple individuals associated to the gambling organization to include the defendant, Mark Edward FULEIHAN. FULEIHAN was confirmed to be an active sworn law enforcement officer with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office at the time of the investigation. Statements by multiple Sources of Information (SOI) revealed first-hand knowledge of FULEIHAN accepting monetary bribes between 2013 and 2017 from associates of the gambling organization. SOI confirmed the bribes were paid to FULEIHAN in exchange for information/services used to facilitate the operation of the illegal gambling organization and to avoid detection from other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. SLED also utilized cellular telephone toll reports during the investigation to confirm FULEIHAN’S continued communication with members of the gambling organization. The telephone reports revealed continued communication patterns between FULEIHAN and the gambling organization on specific dates/times SLED was conducting enforcement action against the gambling organization, between 2018 and 2020.”

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