COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — The South Carolina State Grand Jury issued an indictment against former Florence County Sheriff’s Lieutenant, Mark Fuleihan, AG Alan Wilson announced Thursday.
Fuleihan, 48, was arrested April 2 by SLED and HSI agents on a State Grand Jury Arrest Warrant. Fuleihan allegedly took bribes from “associates” of a gambling organization “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.”
The misconduct in office count reads in part: “That [Fuleihan], in Florence County, from on or about January 1, 2013 until on or about March 31, 2020, and while a Deputy Sheriff in Florence County, a public official, did willfully and dishonestly fail to properly and faithfully discharge the duties of his public office imposed upon him by law; to wit: Fuleihan did provide aid, counsel, comfort, assistance, protection, and sensitive law enforcement information to help an individual or individuals he knew were engaged in illegal gambling and related criminal activities. Therefore, Fuleihan did, by malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance, commit acts and omissions in breach of his duty of good faith, honesty, and accountability to the public.”
The Ethics Act bribery count, for an alleged violation of South Carolina Code 8-13-705 reads in part: “That [Fuleihan] did, in Florence County, on or about January 1, 2013 until December 31, 2017, while a Deputy Sheriff with Florence County, directly and indirectly knowingly ask, demand, exact, solicit, seek, accept, assign, receive, and agree to receive anything of value for himself or for another person in return for being: (1) influenced in the discharge of his official responsibilities; (2) influenced to commit, aid in committing, collude in, allow fraud, or make an opportunity for the commission of fraud on a governmental entity; and (3) induced to perform or fail to perform an act in violation of his official responsibilities; to wit: Fuleihan did directly and indirectly demand and receive value for himself from an individual or individuals conducting illegal gambling and related criminal activities, in return for his assistance, protection, aid, counsel, and access to sensitive law enforcement information, which Fuleihan provided to the individual or individuals.”
The penalty, if found guilty, for common law misconduct in office is up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine at the discretion of court. The penalty for violation of Code 8-13-705 is up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
A person convicted of this offense is permanently disqualified from being a public official or public member and this crime is a felony, AG Wilson said.
Read the full indictment below: