Motel owner back at work Friday following arrest during FBI oper - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Motel owner back at work Friday following arrest during FBI operation in Myrtle Beach

Three people were arrested during an FBI operation Thursday in Myrtle Beach. (Source: WMBF News) Three people were arrested during an FBI operation Thursday in Myrtle Beach. (Source: WMBF News)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach motel owner and two women arrested for electronic benefits fraud on Thursday as part of an FBI operation will be in court again Wednesday in Greenville for a preliminary hearing.

According to a press release from the U.S. District Attorney's Office, Sherif Alkassar, 36, of Myrtle Beach; Lesley Alkassar, 38, of Blacksburg; and Katie Polson, 29, of Myrtle Beach, were all taken into custody.

Additionally, Sherif Alkassar was also charged with mail fraud and making false statements relating to naturalization and citizenship, according to the press release.

On Friday, a WMBF News reporter found Sherif Alkassar working the front desk at The Virginian. He did not want to speak on camera, but said he does not know what's going on and is waiting to talk to a lawyer to get more information on the allegations against him.

The Virginian was one of three locations where federal warrants were served Thursday. The others were the 7 Brothers Motel and a home in the 300 block of First Avenue North in Myrtle Beach.

Sherif Alkassar was listed on a business license as the owner of the 7 Brothers and The Virginian motels, according to records from the city of Myrtle Beach.

When the FBI agents showed up, Alkassar signed off on a search because he said he has nothing to hide. He added he does not know what they were looking for and he thinks how everything took place yesterday was cruel.

Alkassar said he did start an application for citizenship and wrote the date on the top of the form. Then, he said he put the application down for a couple of months before finishing it.

So, when he did pick up the application again, he put the date he completed the form at the bottom of it. He said those mismatched dates are the reasoning behind the allegation of making false statements relating to naturalization.

Alkassar said he has lived in the United States since he was a child and wanted to make what he feels in his heart official.

He did not have any comments at this time about the other charges or the charges for Lesley Alkassar or Polson.

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UPDATE: Motel owner, two women arrested, charged following FBI operation in Myrtle Beach

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