Travelers Rest man sentenced for illegal gambling operation

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – A Travelers Rest man was sentenced earlier this week in federal court for running a two-decade-long illegal gambling operation.

As part of a plea deal, 54-year-old Izzat M. Khalil was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Mary G. Lewis to one year and one day imprisonment and was ordered to forfeit $194,522.00 in gambling proceeds.

Evidence presented at the hearing established that Khalil conducted an illegal gambling business headquartered, most recently, on Augusta Road in Greenville, according to U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles.

In a statement released after the sentencing, Nettles said law enforcement used a number of confidential informants to make controlled gambling bets at Khalil’s gambling locations. On Jan. 31, 2012 and March 13, 2013, a confidential informant who was wired for video and audio made controlled gambling bets at 6129 Augusta Road.

“Each time the informant received a slip memorializing the transaction,” the statement said. “Khalil employed individuals making the betting tickets, recording the wagers, and paying out when necessary.”

The case was investigated by deputies of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office.

According to a report in The Greenville News, information provided by Khalil during the course of the investigation led to the firings of two Greenville County deputies, most recently that of Maj. Shea Smith.

Khalil alleged the Greenville County Sheriff's Office knew of his operation and allowed it to continue, the report says.