AG Wilson: SC to Recover $273,583.50 from Food Stamp Fraud Cases

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – February 8, 2017  Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that restitution totaling $273,583.50 has been ordered in in South Carolina from food stamp fraud cases in 2016.

During 2016, 70 individuals were convicted state-wide for food stamp fraud with $273,583.50 in restitution ordered to the Department of Social Services (DSS) related to these convictions. Over the course of the year, $150,748.59 was collected in restitution either through the probation system or by payments made directly to DSS.

These results stem from the second year of a partnership targeting abuse of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known has food stamps. Through this partnership, DSS investigates abuse cases and the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office prosecutes them.

Since the beginning of this program in January 2015, $610,975.97 in restitution has been ordered from these cases.

“At only two years old, this program has shown that food stamp fraud is absolutely a problem in South Carolina,” Attorney General Wilson said. “There are families and individuals who rely on this program and use it for its intended purpose. The criminals who are abusing this system are not only stealing money from taxpayers, but also from those in need.”

Approximately 855,000 South Carolinians receive food stamps. Recipients can use them to buy unprepared food items, such as milk and meat, bread, beans and rice to feed their families. Wilson noted that while the majority of SNAP recipients use the program as intended, those who abuse it divert funds from families who rely on the program.

If you know or suspect someone who is committing food stamp fraud, please report it by calling the tip line at 1-800-616-1309.

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