News Archive

Charleston Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 16, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of William Lloyd Hepburn (age 18) of  Charleston, SC, on 11 charges connected to the exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Charleston Police Department and Charleston County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Hepburn. Investigators state Hepburn created…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 14, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Mark David Swierski, (age 50) of  Lexington, SC, on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Swierski. Investigators state Swierski distributed and possessed files…

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Mount Pleasant Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 14, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Daniel Anthony Feerst, (age 64) of  Mount Pleasant, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Mount Pleasant Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Feerst. Investigators state Feerst  possessed files of…

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Thanksgiving Day killer sentenced to life in prison

(COLUMBIA, S.C,) – Oct. 11, 2019– Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a man accused of a Thanksgiving Day 2016 murder has been found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. On Thursday, a Lexington County jury found Michael Williams guilty of Murder and Possession of a Weapon during a Violent Crime. “This was a senseless and cold-blooded murder,” Attorney General Wilson said. “I’m thankful that investigators were able to catch this killer and develop a strong case and my team was able to get this man off the streets for life.” On Thanksgiving Day of 2016 at 2:00 p.m.,…

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Former school bus driver sentenced to 22 years for criminal sexual conduct and exploitation of a 14-year-old girl

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 10, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that a former school bus driver has been sentenced to 22 years in prison after impregnating a 14-year-old girl who rode his bus. Kevin Michael Wesley, Jr., pleaded guilty on Monday, October 7th, to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, First Degree and one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Third Degree in Charleston County. Judge R. Markley Dennis sentenced Wesley to 12 years in prison on the charge of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Third Degree and 10 years in…

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Moncks Corner Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 10, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jon Daniel St. Jean, (age 43) of  Moncks Corner, SC, on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, US Marshal’s Service and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led…

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Varnville man sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 8, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a man from Varnville in Hampton County was sentenced to four years in prison Monday, October 7th, for possessing child pornography. John Edward Benson pleaded guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd degree, in front of Judge Carmen Mullen in Allendale County. In May 2017, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip that a user uploaded nearly 100 images to a Dropbox cloud storage account. Special Investigator Jason Hughes with the Attorney General’s Office obtained subscriber information…

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AG Alan Wilson applauds President Trump’s signing Autism CARES Act into law

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 2, 2019 – President Donald Trump signed the Autism CARES Act into law Monday, which will mean $1.8 billion over five years to fund a whole-of-government approach to help children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson was part of a bipartisan coalition of 47 attorneys general supporting passage of the act. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill unanimously in July and the Senate passed it unanimously in September. This legislation provides ongoing federal support for research into autism spectrum disorders (“ASD”) and services to those…

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Goose Creek Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 2, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Michael Oronde Williams (age 42) of Goose Creek, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Goose Creek Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.    Investigators state Williams distributed multiple files of child pornography.     Williams was arrested on September 25, 2019. He is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of…

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Silent Witness Ceremony Honored 2018 Victims of Fatal Domestic Violence

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 1, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson led participants through the 22nd annual Silent Witness Domestic Violence ceremony that was held today on the south steps of the State House in Columbia. During the solemn ceremony, Attorney General Wilson called the names of thirty (30) women and eleven (11) men from across the state who lost their lives as the result of domestic violence in the previous year. Victims’ family members, friends, or volunteers carried a life-sized silhouette representing the victim to the State House steps as a bell was rung for each victim. An additional forty-second…

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State Grand Jury Indicts 21 New Defendants in “Cash Cow,” Alleging Conspiracies to Smuggle Cell Phones, Narcotics, and other Contraband into South Carolina Prisons

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Sept. 27, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued an additional round of indictments in the case known as “Cash Cow,” involving allegations of sophisticated and highly lucrative conspiracies to smuggle large amounts of contraband into the South Carolina prisons. According to the indictments, prevalent types of contraband include pounds of loose cigarette tobacco, cell phones and cell phone accessories, marijuana, alcoholic beverages, and Synthetic Cannabinoid, also known as “K2”, “Deuce” or “Spice”.  Other drugs, such as methamphetamine, suboxone, cocaine, and crack cocaine are also…

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Charleston Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 26, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Keith Wayne Fleming, age 29, of  Charleston, SC, on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Charleston Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Fleming possessed child pornography.     Fleming was arrested on September 18, 2019. He is charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, third…

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Darlington County Man Arrested on Criminal Sexual Charges with a Minor

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 23, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Trevor McKenzie Allen (age 34) of  Hartsville, SC, on four charges connected to the exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Florence County Sheriff’s Office, and US Marshal’s Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Allen….

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 20, 2019- South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Michael Andrew Shrock, (age 28) of  Greenville, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Shrock. Investigators state Shrock possessed child pornography.     Shrock…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 20, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of William Raymond Jones (age 31) of Myrtle Beach, SC, on four charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Coastal Carolina University Police Department assisted with this investigation.    Investigators state Jones distributed multiple files of child pornography.     Jones was arrested on September 18, 2019. He is charged with four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (§16-15-405), a felony offense punishable by…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 19, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Thomas James Phillips (age 19) of Greer, SC, on eight charges connected to the exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.Investigators with the Chandler (AZ) Police Department assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Phillips distributed multiple files of child pornography.     Phillips was arrested on September 17, 2019. He is charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (§16-15-405), a felony offense punishable by up…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 17, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Russell Ray Johnston, IV (age 36), of Myrtle Beach, SC, on four charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Johnston. Investigators state Johnston possessed multiple files of…

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Attorney General Wilson one of 50 Attorneys General in Google multistate bipartisan antitrust investigation

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Sept. 9, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that he’s part of a multistate, bipartisan investigation of tech giant Google’s business practices in accordance with state and federal antitrust laws. The investigation includes 50 attorneys general.   The bipartisan coalition announced plans to investigate Google’s overarching control of online advertising markets and search traffic that may have led to anticompetitive behavior that harms consumers. Legal experts from each state will work in cooperation with Federal authorities to assess competitive conditions for online services and ensure that Americans have access to free digital markets.  …

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Richland County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 5, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Thomas Belton Goff, (age 37) of Columbia, SC, on 11 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Goff. Investigators state Goff distributed multiple files of child pornography.  …

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Attorney General Wilson, 19-State Coalition Files Brief to Protect Unborn Children

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — Sept. 5, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a 19-state effort in defending the right of states to prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a crucial argument to protect the lives of unborn children and safeguard similar laws across the nation. “The very first, most fundamental right is the right to life and I’ve always been committed to protecting that,” said Attorney General Wilson. “This is also an issue of protecting the ability of states to pass laws that their citizens want without interference from the federal government.” The coalition’s brief leans upon…

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Report Price Gouging

Normal fluctuations in price are to be expected and are not price gouging, but if you feel like you are the victim of price gouging there are certain steps that you can take to help our office investigate. Please do the following: Note the time, place, address, and name of the gas station or business Note the price you paid Note any prices nearby and get the same information on those stations or businesses Take pictures that identify the business, along with the price Provide your name and contact information  

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York County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 30, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Duncan Wolf McLaren, (age 21) of  Sharon, SC, on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the York County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to McLaren. Investigators state McLaren distributed and possessed files of child…

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Horry County Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 30, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Paul B. Vick (age 69), of North Myrtle Beach, SC, and Lee Grant Cook, III  (age 27), of Myrtle Beach, SC, on 30 total charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrests.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, US Marshals Service, and 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, as well as North Myrtle Beach and Coastal Carolina Police Departments…

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AG Alan Wilson joins bipartisan coalition seeking congressional support for autism services

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 28, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced that he is joining a bipartisan coalition of 47 attorneys general calling upon Congress to authorize the Autism CARES Act of 2019. This legislation provides ongoing federal support for research into autism spectrum disorders (“ASD”) and services to those affected by these conditions. “We need to do all that we can to make sure those on the autism spectrum get the services they need here in South Carolina and all across the country,” Attorney General Wilson said. “Research and services are making a huge difference already and…

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Aiken man gets 10 years for sexually assaulting child & creating child porn

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 27, 2019 – An Aiken man who sexually assaulted a child and created and distributed child pornography has pleaded guilty and sentenced to 10 years in prison for his crimes. David Urizar pleaded guilty on August 22, 2019, to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Second Degree, and one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Third Degree, before the Honorable Clifton Newman in Aiken County. Urizar was represented by Brian Katonik. On November 24, 2016, Investigator Lucinda McKellar with the SC Attorney General’s Office conducted an investigation into the online distribution of…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Urges the FCC to Strengthen Efforts to Stop Robocalls

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  Aug. 26, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to encourage telecom companies to implement call blocking and call authentication solutions that would protect consumers from illegal robocalls and spoofing. Today’s comment letter to the FCC comes after Attorney General Wilson and a bipartisan public-private coalition of 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies  unveiled the Anti-Robocall  Principles to fight illegal robocalls last week. “We have 12 phone companies signed on to this effort but we really need all of them to put these solutions in place to be able to…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 22, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jeffrey Dale Vereen, (age 26) of  Little River, SC, on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Vereen. Investigators state Vereen distributed child pornography.  …

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Joins Coalition of 51 Attorneys General and 12 Companies in Fight Against Illegal Robocalls

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced that as a result of a bipartisan, public/private coalition of 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies he has joined, the phone companies have agreed to adopt eight principles to fight illegal robocalls. This agreement will help protect phone users from illegal robocalls and make it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute bad actors. “Robocalls are frustrating for all of us because we all get them, and to make that frustration worse it’s very difficult for us to do anything about them at the state level,” Attorney General Wilson…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 15, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Vince Randall Newton (age 35) of  West Columbia, SC, on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Newton.  Investigators state Newton distributed child pornography.  …

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Aiken County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 15, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Grant Nicholas Reeder (age 19) of  Jackson, SC, on 24 charges connected to the exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Reeder engaged in criminal sexual conduct with a minor, solicited a minor for sex, produced multiple files of child pornography, distributed child pornography, possessed child pornography, and distributed nude images to a minor.   Reeder was arrested on August 12, 2019.  He is charged with five…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson announces lawsuit against opioid distributors

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  Aug. 15, 2019 – Today, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that he has filed a lawsuit against three major opioid distributors for their part in the opioid crisis. This is the second phase of his deliberate approach to hold additional companies accountable for their role in fueling the epidemic. In his Complaint, the Attorney General alleges Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen violated  the S.C. Unfair Trade Practices Act and created a public nuisance, and seeks injunctive relief and civil penalties. The Attorney General previously filed suit on August 15, 2017 against opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma L.P.,…

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Two women guilty of insurance fraud after setting fires

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 9, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Tracie Lee Grice, 48, of Tabor City, North Carolina, and Heather Beach Massey, 39, of Dillon, South Carolina, entered pleas of guilty on August 8, 2019 on insurance fraud charges. Grice pleaded guilty to one count of Arson 3rd Degree and one count of Making False Insurance claim to Obtain Benefits for Fire Loss. Massey pleaded guilty to one count of Presenting False Claim for Insurance Payment, value $10,000 or more. The Honorable Paul M. Burch accepted the pleas and sentenced Grice to 5 years…

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Upstate man gets maximum sentence for Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 8, 2019 – An Upstate man accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl pleaded guilty Wednesday and was sentenced to the maximum possible sentence. Robert Keith Morgan, represented by Delane Rosemond, pleaded guilty to one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Second Degree; one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, First Degree; and one count of Obstruction of Justice, in Oconee County before the Honorable Scott Sprouse. On September 26, 2017 the 14-year-old victim disclosed to Seneca High School staff that family member Robert Keith Morgan had been sexually abusing her. The victim…

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Federal government announces it has removed one ton of plutonium from South Carolina

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  Aug. 7, 2019 – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy provided notice that it has removed not less than one metric ton of plutonium from South Carolina in accordance with the injunction obtained by the State from Federal District Judge Michelle Childs. Congress passed a law requiring that the plutonium be removed from the Savannah River Site by January 1, 2016 if the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Facility’s production objective was not met by January 1, 2014. That objective was not met, and the State of South Carolina sued the Department of Energy in 2016. The District…

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Hanahan Man Arrested on Criminal Sexual Conduct Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 6, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Terrell Darrel Crawford (age 31) of  Hanahan, SC, on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Hanahan Police Department made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Crawford.  Investigators state Crawford engaged in criminal sexual conduct with a…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)  – Aug. 6, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jerry Randall Elrod (age 54) of  Travelers Rest, SC, on 10 charges connected to the exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Elrod. Investigators state Elrod distributed multiple files of child…

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State Grand Jury Indicts 9 People Following Investigation of an Alleged Cocaine Trafficking Organization Operating in the Upstate

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Aug. 2, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued indictments of nine people for their alleged participation in an Upstate drug trafficking conspiracy primarily involving cocaine but also other illegal narcotics. These indictments followed a multi-jurisdictional cooperative effort among a number of agencies in the area. Covering a conspiracy that began in January of 2017, the State Grand Jury returned 3 indictments alleging multiple but connected charges and conspiracies relating to trafficking 400 grams or more of cocaine. The investigation revealed that this organization allegedly…

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Pickens County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 29, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of David Michael Dare, (age 45) of Pickens, SC, on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Dare possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Dare was arrested on July 25, 2019. He is charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 26, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Thomas Daniel Hamm, Jr., (age 37) of  Galivants Ferry, SC, on 13 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Hamm. Investigators state Hamm distributed and…

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Anderson County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 26, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of William Justin Vaughn, (age 29) of  Anderson, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Vaughn. Investigators state…

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Alleged preacher sentenced to 9 years in prison for fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 25, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that a self-proclaimed minister and Apostle, Wendell Freeman, 61, of Columbia, South Carolina, was sentenced to prison for taking a Lexington County woman’s life savings. Freeman met the victim shortly after she retired from working for local banks for over 39 years. Freeman told the victim he was involved in a lawsuit against the State of South Carolina and that the lawsuit had already been won, but that money was needed to pay administrative fees required before the money could be paid out. Freeman promised the…

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State Grand Jury Issues Additional Indictments Relating to Trafficking of Counterfeit Pills Containing Heroin and Fentanyl, Including Murder Indictment

(COLUMBIA, SC) South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued additional indictments of three people for their alleged participation in a drug trafficking conspiracy primarily involving heroin and fentanyl. Previously, Benjamin Jamal Johnson, a/k/a Slim, 31, of Batesburg; Shiv Balvant Tailor, 21, of Lexington; and Savannah Lynn Stroud, 20, of Lexington, were all charged in May of 2019 with Trafficking Heroin 14-28 grams (Conspiracy).  Specifically, the indictment alleged the “defendants conspired to deal counterfeit ‘Roxies’ consisting of a mixture containing heroin and other substances, including in some instances fentanyl”. “It is…

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50 Attorneys General Secure $600 Million from Equifax in Largest Data Breach Settlement in History

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 22, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced that a coalition of 50 Attorneys General, comprising 48 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, has reached a settlement with Equifax as the result of an investigation into a massive 2017 data breach. The investigation found that Equifax’s failure to maintain a reasonable security system enabled hackers to penetrate its systems, exposing the data of 56 percent of American adults—the largest-ever breach of consumer data. The Attorneys General secured a settlement with Equifax that includes a Consumer Restitution Fund of…

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State Grand Jury Indicts Two Corrections Officers for Alleged Involvement in Smuggling Contraband within South Carolina Prisons

(COLUMBIA, SC) – July 18, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued an additional indictment in the case known as “Cash Cow”, involving allegations of sophisticated and highly lucrative conspiracies to smuggle large amounts of contraband into the South Carolina prisons. The indictment alleges that Carmen Amelia Carpenter, a former SCDC Lieutenant at the Turbeville Correctional Institution, and Chesley Lavon McFadden, a former SCDC Sergeant at the Turbeville Correctional Institution, used their “position[s] as correctional officer[s] to facilitate the unlawful introduction and distribution of contraband into a prison…

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State Grand Jury Investigation into Alleged Cocaine and Crack Trafficking Results in Indictment of 13 People

(COLUMBIA, SC) – July 15, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that 13 people have been indicted as a result of a State Grand Jury investigation into a multi-county cocaine trafficking organization that was largely operating in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.  The State Grand Jury returned indictments alleging a conspiracy to traffic cocaine dating back to January 2011, and a conspiracy to traffic crack cocaine dating back to January 2015.  The State Grand Jury also indicted for various other offenses related to trafficking of cocaine and crack, including distribution of cocaine, distribution of crack, possession of…

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SC Attorney General to Host Blood Drive

(COLUMBIA,S.C.) – July 2, 2019 –  South Carolina’s Attorney General’s Office is participating in a blood drive coordinated by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) to promote NAAG’s 2019 presidential initiative on emergency and crisis management. Sixteen state attorneys general are partnering with local blood donation centers to host blood drives from late summer through early fall. South Carolina’s blood drive will be held on Friday, July 12th on the first floor of the Dennis Building on the Statehouse grounds from 10 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.   South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said, “Blood donors are literally lifesavers…

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Ladson Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 28, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Brian Lee Glidden, (age 33) of  Ladson, SC, on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, Charleston Police Department, and Mount Pleasant Police Department, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 28, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Daniel Wayne Lindler (age 39) of  Lexington, SC, on 13 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), United States Secret Service, and United States Probation, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the search warrant and arrest.   Investigators state Lindler distributed and possessed files of child pornography.  …

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Mount Pleasant Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 25, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Daniel Scott Pilecki (age 20) of  Mount Pleasant, SC, on 19 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Mount Pleasant Police Department made the arrest.  Investigators with  the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators state Pilecki invaded the privacy of others without their knowledge or consent, and possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Pilecki…

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Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Arrests 36 Suspected Child Predators in Conjunction with Operation Broken Heart

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 12, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force arrested 36 suspected child sex offenders in South Carolina as part of Operation Broken Heart. “I am proud of the effort by all involved with this Task Force,” said Attorney General Alan Wilson. “Protecting our children from Internet predators requires a collaborative effort by local, state and federal agencies working together to investigate and prosecute these offenders, as well as educate parents and their children.”   The two-month national operation was conducted during the months of April…

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Court reduces legal fees in SCE&G case and returns more money to ratepayers

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 12, 2019 – A Circuit Court judge has signed an order reducing the legal fees going to lawyers for SCE&G ratepayers, which means millions of dollars more will go back to the ratepayers. Judge John Hayes signed the order late Tuesday reducing the legal fees from $66 million to $51 million. Attorney General Alan Wilson had argued for the legal fees to be reduced, citing the fact that his office’s work was the main catalyst for settling the lawsuit and that the state’s work greatly reduced the amount of work that needed to be done by…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson joins 44-state coalition in motion to unseal generic drug price fixing complaint

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 6, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a 44-state coalition led by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong in a motion today to unseal their complaint against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation’s largest generic drug manufacturers. The complaint, filed on May 10 in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, alleges a broad conspiracy to artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition and unreasonably restrain trade for more than 100 different drugs. “We announced our part in this lawsuit last month and now we want people to be able to see…

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Greenville man sentenced to prison for child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  June 6, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a Greenville man pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and was sentenced to prison. Mark Woodman Mason, represented by Chase Harbin, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Third Degree before the Honorable Edward W. Miller in Greenville County. In June of 2016, Special Investigator Kevin Atkins with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted a proactive investigation into the use of computer file sharing programs for possession and distribution of files depicting the sexual…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 4, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Noah Glenn Satterfield (age 20) of  Greer, SC, on 10 charges connected to the exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Satterfield. Investigators state Satterfield distributed multiple files of child pornography.  …

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 4, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Ronald Gregg Hinch (age 66) of Myrtle Beach, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (member of the North Florida ICAC TF), Conway Police Department (also a member of the SC ICAC TF), Myrtle Beach Police Department and Coastal Carolina Police Department assisted with this investigation and arrest.   Investigators state Hinch distributed multiple…

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State Grand Jury Issues Indictment Alleging Trafficking of Counterfeit Pills Containing Heroin and Fentanyl

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 30, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued an indictment of three people alleging their participation in a drug trafficking conspiracy involving heroin and fentanyl.    Benjamin Jamal Johnson, a/k/a Slim, 31, of Batesburg; Shiv Balvant Tailor, 21, of Lexington; and Savannah Lynn Stroud, 20, of Lexington, were all charged with Trafficking Heroin 14-28 grams (Conspiracy).  Specifically, the indictment alleged the “defendants conspired to deal counterfeit ‘Roxies’ consisting of a mixture containing heroin and other substances, including in some instances fentanyl”.    The case was…

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West Columbia Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 28, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Robert Edward Yancey (age 48) of West Columbia, SC, on ten charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office, Eighth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and United States Secret Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the search warrant and arrest.   Investigators state Yancey possessed multiple files of child…

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Goose Creek Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 28, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Bruce Drury (age 72) of  Goose Creek, SC, on ten charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Goose Creek Police Department made the arrest.  Investigators with  the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Drury. Investigators state Drury possessed multiple files of child pornography.  …

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AG Alan Wilson Joins 52 AG Coalition Calling for Automatic Discharges of Student Loans for Totally and Permanently Disabled Veterans

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 24, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined a 52 state and territory coalition of Attorneys General in urging the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to automatically forgive the student loans of veterans who became totally and permanently disabled in connection with their military service. The bipartisan coalition issued its letter as the country prepares to honor fallen troops on Memorial Day. Last year DOE identified more than 42,000 veterans as eligible for student loan relief due to a service-related total and permanent disability, the Attorneys General note in their letter to Secretary…

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AG Alan Wilson Asks Congress to Hold Internet Service Providers Accountable, Ensure States Maintain Right to Stop Criminal Violations of State Law

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — May 24, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined 46 other AGs across the country this week to ask Congress, again, to amend the Communications Decency Act in order to make sure state and local authorities are able to protect our citizens online and take appropriate action against criminal actors. The Communication Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) was designed to encourage the growth of the internet by promoting free expression, particularly on online message boards. The Act was intended to allow companies who sponsor message boards to remain immune to repercussions from inappropriate posts, but,…

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Spartanburg man sentenced to 15 years for child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 23, 2019 – A Spartanburg man guilty of child pornography and voyeurism is going to prison for 15 years. Oscar Lindsay Brogdon, Jr., represented by Rick Vieth, pleaded guilty on May 22, 2019, to nine counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 2nd Degree, and one count of Voyeurism in front of Judge Mark Hayes in Spartanburg County. In July 2017, Special Investigator Kevin Atkins with the Attorney General’s Office found a user requesting child pornography files on the internet. The defendant’s residence was identified as the location where the files were being requested, and a search…

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Charleston County Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 17, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Frederic George Schreyer, Jr. (age 57), of Johns Island, SC, and Brandon Hamilton Beiger (age 39), of Charleston, SC, on six charges each connected to the sexual exploitation of minors.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office made the arrests.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Charleston Police Department and Hanahan Police Department, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigations.   Investigators state both Schreyer and…

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Clover Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 17, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Nathaniel Blake Arguedas (age 20) and David M. Johnson (age 54), both of Clover, SC, on 27 total charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the York County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and United States Secret Service, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigations.   Investigators received CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson partners with other attorneys general as Comcast’s Internet Essentials program expands partnerships to promote internet safety for seniors, parents, and children

(ATLANTA, GA) – May 17, 2019 – As part of its ongoing campaign to promote online safety for Internet users, Comcast today announced the latest phase of a joint effort between Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption initiative for low-income households, and three more State Attorneys General.  South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall join 17 other state chief law enforcement officers committed to better educating students, parents, and seniors about how to be safe on the Internet.  Since 2011, Comcast’s Internet Essentials program has connected more…

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Former insurance producer pleads guilty to fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 16, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Robert M. Hochman, 42, of Groveland, Florida, entered a plea of guilty on May 9, 2019 on insurance fraud charges.  Hochman pleaded guilty to one count of Obtaining Property Under False Pretenses, $10,000 or More and Forgery no dollar amount.   The Honorable Thomas Russo accepted the plea and sentenced Hochman to five years in prison on the Obtaining charge and a concurrent term of three years on the Forgery charge, both of which were suspended to five years of probation. A special condition of his…

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South Carolina joins 44 state coalition in antitrust lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals, 19 other generic drug manufacturers, 15 individuals in conspiracy to fix prices and allocate markets for more than 100 different generic drugs

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 12, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a 44-state coalition led by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong in announcing a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation’s largest generic drug manufacturers alleging a broad conspiracy to artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition and unreasonably restrain trade for more than 100 different generic drugs. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, also names 15 individual senior executive defendants at the heart of the conspiracy who were responsible for sales, marketing, pricing and operations. The drugs at issue account…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson asks Court to limit attorneys’ fees in SCANA case and give ratepayers rebates

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 8, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is asking the courts to reduce the legal fees requested by the lawyers for SCE&G ratepayers and instead give more money to the ratepayers. The response was filed in court late Tuesday.   Attorneys who represented SCE&G’s ratepayers have asked the Court for $63.5 million in contingency fees and costs for their lawsuit against SCANA over its failed nuclear reactors project. That lawsuit led to a $2.2 billion settlement that includes at least $115 million in refunds to SCE&G ratepayers.   In the filing, the attorney general says,…

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Greenville County Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 7, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Norman Newton Winkles (age 50) of  Marietta, SC, and Robert Cintron (age 57) of Greenville, SC, on 10 charges each connected to the sexual exploitation of minors.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigations.   Investigators state Winkles distributed child pornography and both Winkles and Cintron possessed files of…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 7, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Matthew Robert Blackwell (age 21) of  Lexington, SC on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.   Investigators state Blackwell engaged in the production of child pornography.   Blackwell was arrested on April 20, 2019.  He is charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, first degree (§16-15-395), a felony offense punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment.   The case…

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Coalition of 42 Attorneys General Urge FCC to Take Action Against Robocalls, Caller ID Spoofing

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 6, 2019 – Today, a coalition of 42 Attorneys General joined in calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take further action to stop the growing proliferation of illegal robocalls and spoofing.   In formal legal comments delivered to the FCC, the attorneys general urged the FCC to adopt its proposed rules on enforcement against caller ID spoofing on calls to the United States originating from overseas, while also addressing spoofing in text messaging and alternative voice services. These provisions are included in the FCC appropriations authorization bill also known as the RAY BAUM’S Act…

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82 Arrested in Multi-State Child Exploitation Operation Named “Operation Southern Impact III”

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 3, 2019 – A total of 82 people were arrested, and 17 children were rescued or identified as victims during a mutually coordinated operation between eight (8) southeastern states. The joint, proactive operation, Operation Southern Impact III, was coordinated by ten (10) Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces in those eight states and focused on persons who possess and distribute child pornography and those who are sexually exploiting children in other ways using technology and the internet.  The planning for Operation Southern Impact III began approximately 4 months ago and culminated in 3 days of investigative…

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Co-defendant in insurance fraud case pleads guilty

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 29, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that William Jackson Johnson pleaded guilty on April 23rd to his part in an insurance fraud case in Lexington County. The Honorable Frank Addy accepted his plea to one count of Making a False Statement or Misrepresentation $1,000 or More and sentenced Johnson to three years in prison, suspended to 60 days in jail, five years of probation and $9,000 restitution. Johnson is the co-defendant of Brenda M. Leno, 55, of Lexington, South Carolina. She entered a plea of guilty on March 27, 2019, also on…

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Attorney General Wilson cautiously optimistic about federal government’s decision to halt expansion of offshore drilling

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 25, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson reacted today to news that the U.S. Department of Interior has decided to indefinitely halt plans to expand offshore drilling off the Atlantic coast. AG Wilson filed a lawsuit against the federal government to halt the drilling and the seismic testing preceding it, arguing the seismic blasts would harm wildlife and the state’s fishing and tourism industries.   The Trump administration’s decision came after an Alaskan court ruled that one president cannot undo what a previous president had done. Former President Obama banned drilling in the Alaskan Arctic and…

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Attorney General Wilson encourages South Carolinians to safely dispose of unwanted medications Saturday

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 25, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson encourages all South Carolinians to take part in National Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, April, 27th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Twice a year, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) proclaims a national day to ask everyone to safely dispose of unused medication. At the last National Take Back Day last October, Americans collected a record-breaking 914,236 pounds of prescription drugs, more than the weight of three Boeing 757s. There are more than 4,000 locations nationwide where you can drop off your unused or unwanted medicines….

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Florence Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 24, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of John Edward Moore, III, (age 68) of  Florence, SC, on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), United States Marshal’s Service, and United States Secret Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the search warrant.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center…

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Florence County Sheriff Boone indicted by State Grand Jury; charged with Misconduct in Office and Embezzlement

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 24, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today the State Grand Jury returned indictments against Florence County Sheriff William Kenney Boone. He was charged with one count of Misconduct in Office and two counts of Embezzlement. The misconduct offense is a common law misdemeanor, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The embezzlement offense is a statutory felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine at the discretion of the court. The indictment alleges that Boone used both county and federal funds allocated to the Florence County Sheriff’s…

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Wilson: State Receives $78.7 Million in Tobacco Settlement Funds

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 22, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the State secured $78,723,031.53 in its share of the annual tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”) Payment. In 1998, the Attorney General’s Office joined 45 other States, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories in settling claims with the then-four major U.S. cigarette manufacturers.  The MSA is the largest financial recovery in legal history.  Since the MSA was signed in November 1998, about 50 other tobacco companies have signed onto the MSA and are also bound by its terms.  The settlement imposes major restrictions…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces South Carolina consumers have received more than $1.4 million as part of settlement in debt-buying case

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 18, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that South Carolina residents have received more than $1.4 million as part of a multistate settlement in a debt-buying case. South Carolina joined 41 states and the District of Columbia last December in reaching a $6 million settlement with Encore Capital Group Inc., one of the nation’s largest debt buyers, and its subsidiaries Midland Credit Management, Inc. and Midland Funding, LLC. Debt buying involves buying and selling overdue debts from creditors and other account owners. While the debt is often purchased for pennies on the dollar, debt…

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AG Wilson announces that leader of staged-accidents ring sentenced to prison

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 17, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Tyburious Heyward, 21, of Sumter, South Carolina, entered a plea of guilty on April 12, 2019 on insurance fraud charges. Heyward pleaded guilty to three counts of Presenting a False Claim for Payment Greater than $10,000, which are 10 year felonies. Heyward was considered the ringleader of a Sumter County staged accident and fraudulent medical bills ring. The Honorable Kristi Curtis accepted the plea and sentenced Heyward to five years in prison. Heyward was already sentenced to 18 months in prison for a July Failure…

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State expands program to help sexual assault victims who may have been exposed to HIV

(CONWAY, S.C.) – A new Horry County program has been established to meet the needs of sexual assault victims who may have been exposed to HIV. South Carolina is in the forefront of the nationto offer a program that prevents sexual assault victims from contracting HIV, and that program is now expanding to its third location in the state. The Careteam Plus Family Health & Specialty Care Facility in Horry County will provide HIV nPEP treatment and follow-up care to victims of sexual assault when they are found to be at risk for contracting HIV from the sexual assault. The treatment…

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Brantley D. Thomas, III, former Chief Financial Officer of the Berkeley County School District, pleads guilty to State Grand Jury Public Corruption Indictments

(COLUMBIA, SC) – April 12, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that Brantley D. Thomas, III, 62, who was the long-time lead financial officer for the Berkeley County School District [BCSD], pleaded guilty today to all 35 State Grand Jury charges of public corruption.  THOMAS also pleaded guilty to two charges related to his stealing from a business that hired him as a bookkeeper after he was fired from the School District – including stealing from the business while he was out on federal and state bond. Relating to his theft from the BCSD, THOMAS pleaded guilty…

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Horry County man sentenced to 9 years for child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 10, 2019 – A registered sex offender from Horry County was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in prison for possessing child pornography. Harrold Nello Harris, represented by Jim Stanko, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Third Degree before the Honorable Benjamin H. Culbertson in Horry County. In December of 2017, Harrold Nello Harris was taken into custody for a probation violation. He was a registered sex offender after being convicted of Lewd Act on a Minor in January 2017. The probation agent discovered child pornography on Harris’ phone and referred the case to Detective…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 9, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of James Albert McClung (age 46) of Myrtle Beach, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state McClung distributed multiple files of child pornography.     McClung was arrested on April 9, 2019.  He is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (§16-15-405), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count.  …

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Darlington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 9, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Johnny Calhoun McInville, III (age 48) of  Darlington, SC, on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office and United States Secret Service, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the search warrant and arrest.   Investigators state McInville possessed child pornography.     McInville was arrested on April 8, 2019.  He is…

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Lancaster County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 9, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Travis Kenton John (age 40) of  Indian Land, SC, on nine charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with Homeland Security Investigations, also a member of the ICAC Task Force, assisted in the investigation.   Investigators state John distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     John was arrested on April 4, 2019.  He is charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a…

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Conway Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 9, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Derick Dee Herrington (age 34) of  Conway, SC, on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Conway Police Department made the arrest.  Investigators with  the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, and the Coastal Carolina University Police Department assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to…

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Florence Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)  – April 9, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Samuel Joseph Lee Holiman, (age 18) of  Florence, SC, on eight charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Florence Police Department made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Holiman. Investigators state Holiman distributed and possessed files…

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AG Alan Wilson joins 36 other AGs expressing concern over HHS draft report on opioids

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sharing concerns about the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Draft Report (Draft Report). The letter was addressed to Dr. Vanila Singh, chief medical officer for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. As it stands, the Draft Report deviates from guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which are aimed at decreasing the risk of opioid misuse. The report suggests providers can rely solely on their judgement instead of…

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Lexington County woman pleads guilty to insurance fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 29, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Brenda M. Leno, 55, of Lexington, South Carolina, entered a plea of guilty on March 27, 2019 on an insurance fraud charge.  Leno pleaded guilty to one count of Making a False Statement or Misrepresentation $1,000 or More. The Honorable Frank Addy accepted the plea and sentenced Mrs. Leno to 18 months in prison, which was suspended to 5 years of probation.  A special condition of her probation is that she pay $18,000 of restitution to the insurance company, the amount she received through the…

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Aiken County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 28, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Matthew Jonathon Tant (age 18) of  North Augusta, SC, on 20 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with  the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Tant. Investigators state Tant possessed multiple files of child pornography.    …

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FREE clinic coming up for veterans & service members with legal needs

(COLUMBIA, S.C. ) – Veterans, members of the Reserves, and active-duty members of the military are invited to a FREE legal clinic on Friday, April 5th at Upstate Warrior Solutions in Greenville. This clinic is sponsored by the SC Attorney General’s V.A.L.O.R. Program, which was announced on Veterans Day last year. V.A.L.O.R. stands for Veterans & Armed Forces Legal OutReach.   Attorney General Alan Wilson is scheduled to attend the clinic. “The legal profession has always recognized it has a moral obligation to support those who defend the freedoms we treasure,” said Attorney General Wilson, who’s also a Colonel in the…

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Murrells Inlet Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 27, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jason Michael Holsinger (age 36) of  Murrells Inlet, SC, on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the 15th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Horry County Sheriff’s Office, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, and Coastal Carolina University Police assisted with this investigation and arrest.     Investigators state Holsinger distributed files of child pornography.     Holsinger was arrested on March 26, 2019. …

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Florence County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 22, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Timothy Glen Kaylor (age 65) of  Florence, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with  the Florence Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and United States Secret Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the search warrant and arrest.   Investigators state Kaylor possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Kaylor was arrested on March 21, 2019. …

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Four Arrested in Lexington County on Child Pornography and Related Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  March 21, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Christopher Michael Dunn (age 18) of Gaston, SC, Jerome Antonio Summers  (age 36) of Cayce, SC, Joseph Matthew Hay (age 25) of West Columbia, SC, and Kaden Charles Hylton Rhoades (age 19) of Columbia, SC, on 35 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrests. Investigators with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), all also members of the state’s ICAC…

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Lancaster County man sentenced to 10 years for child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 20, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a Lancaster County man has been convicted of having child pornography and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Ray Gene Cook, Jr., represented by Mark Grier, pleaded guilty today to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd Degree, before the Honorable Roger E. Henderson in Lancaster County. In May of 2016, Special Investigator Kevin Atkins with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted a proactive investigation into the use of computer file sharing programs for possession and distribution on the internet of files depicting…

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North Charleston Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 19, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of William Germelman White, Jr., (age 50) of  North Charleston, SC, on 20 charges connected to the exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to White. Investigators state White distributed and possessed files of child…

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Spartanburg man sentenced to prison for child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 18, 2019 – A Spartanburg man has been sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography. On December 13, 2018, David Mark Dagostino, represented by Tom Quinn, pleaded guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd Degree, in front of Judge Grace Knie in Spartanburg County. Between October 2016 and May 2017, Dagostino distributed multiple files of child pornography to both Lucinda McKellar and Kevin Atkins with the SC Attorney General’s Office.  After executing a search warrant at the defendant’s residence, additional files of child pornography were located on his computer equipment. On March 14,…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 18, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Anthony Castelli (age 70) of  Myrtle Beach SC, on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Castelli distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     Castelli was arrested on March 15, 2019.  He is charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (§16-15-405), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count; and four counts…

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SC Crime Victim Assistance Grants–2019 Grant Solicitation Workshop

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 13, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announces the 2019 Grant Solicition Workshop for Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and State Victims Assistance Grant Program (SVAP) grants.    The primary purposes of the workshop is: ·         Advise potential applicants of the eligible areas in which they may apply (e.g., direct services to victims of crime). ·         The opening and closing dates of the solicitation (March 18th and April 30th) and when the one-year grant cycle begins (October 1, 2019). ·         What items or services are allowable under federal guidelines and what must be…

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York County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 13, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of William Freeman Sturgis (age 31) of  Rock Hill, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the York County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Sturgis possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Sturgis was arrested on March 12, 2019.  He is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree (§16-15-410), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count.   The case will…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 12, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Patrick Joseph Power (age 56) of  Fountain Inn, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators state Power distributed files of child pornography.     Power was arrested on March 6, 2019.  He is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 8, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Christopher Dale Baldwin (age 36) of  Swansea, SC, on nine charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Baldwin possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Baldwin was arrested on March 5, 2019.  He is charged with nine counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree (§16-15-410), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count.   The case will be…

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North Charleston Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 8, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Larry Joe Dixon, Jr. (age 43) of  North Charleston, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Dixon. Investigators state…

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Charleston County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 7, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Chad Horst Kramolowski (age 32) of  Mount Pleasant, SC, on 20 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and Mount Pleasant Police Department, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the search warrant and arrest.   Investigators state Kramolowski possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Kramolowski was arrested on March 6, 2019.  He…

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Attorney General Wilson raises awareness of tech support scams

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Attorney General Alan Wilson, in coordination with attorneys general from across the country through the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), has joined the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other regulators in raising awareness of tech support scams. As part of this effort, NAAG and the Department of Justice today announced a sweep of elder fraud cases and focused particular attention on tech support scams as a major threat to senior citizens. These scams work in similar ways. Scammers use phone calls and online ads resembling security alerts from major technology companies…

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Spartanburg County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 5, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Marco Antonio Molina (age 36) of  Inman, SC, on 12 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Public Safety, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and United States Secret Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the search warrant and arrest.   Investigators state Molina distributed and possessed files of child pornography.    …

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Neeses Man Arrested on Solicitation of a Minor Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 5, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Clayton Lamar Williams (age 24) of  Neeses, SC, on one charge connected to the solicitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington Police Department made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Williams solicited a minor for sex.   Williams was arrested on February 28, 2019.  He is charged with one count of criminal solicitation of a minor (§16-15-342), a felony…

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Mauldin man sentenced to 5 years for child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 5, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Michael Christopher Baukovic, represented by Randy Chambers, pleaded guilty today to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Third Degree in front of Judge Letitia Verdin in Greenville County.    In 2016, Special Investigator Lucinda McKeller with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Lieutenant Kevin Murphy with the Berkeley County Sherriff’s Office conducted independent, proactive investigations into the use of computer file-sharing programs for possession and distribution of files depicting the sexual exploitation of minors on the internet. On separate occasions, both…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson urges Congress to take action against robocalls

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 5, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today urged the U.S. Senate to enact the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, legislation to curb illegal robocalls and spoofing. A coalition of 54 attorneys general sent a letter to the U. S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation supporting the TRACED Act. The 54 attorneys general include the attorneys general from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 3 territories.  The legislation is sponsored by Sens. John Thune and Ed Markey. “We all get robocalls and spoofed calls, where a scammer or telemarketer…

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Insurance fraud ring leader pleads guilty in multiple cases

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 1, 2019 – On February 28, 2019, Gregory Vaughn pleaded guilty to five counts of Presenting a False Claim for Insurance Payment, Value More Than $10,000.  As part of a plea agreement, he was sentenced to five years in prison, to run concurrently on all charges, by Judge Ralph Cothran in Clarendon County.  The case was investigated by Special Agent Joseph Neff of SLED and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Savanna Goude.      Vaughn was the ring leader of an insurance fraud ring operating in Sumter County.  He coordinated and staged five different incidents in Sumter County,…

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Three Lowcountry Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 1, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Kamal Malik Howard (age 21) and Richard Alan Baker (age 54), both of  Summerville, SC, and Christopher William King (age 24), of North Charleston, SC, on 20 charges each connected to the sexual exploitation of minors.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office made the arrests.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Summerville Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with these investigations and arrests.   Investigators received…

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SC Attorney General asks court for injunction to block pending offshore testing

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 1, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today filed a motion in federal court asking for a preliminary injunction to block possible offshore testing, permits for which could be issued as early as today, with testing beginning 30 days later. The motion is in support of a lawsuit he joined filed by coastal cities and the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League against the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. They approved seismic testing permits for companies to start looking for oil and natural gas by firing airgun blasts at the ocean…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 28, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Hoyt Wayne Norris, Jr. (age 49) of  Conway, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with  the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Norris. Investigators state Norris possessed multiple files of child pornography.    …

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Dorchester County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 27, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jordan Rashaun Gerald (age 27) of  Summerville, SC, on 20 charges connected to the exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Gerald. Investigators state Gerald distributed and possessed files of child pornography.    …

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces start of Wells Fargo consumer redress review program

Program allows consumers who have not been made whole through other remediation programs to have inquiry reviewed by escalation team (COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 28, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced that Wells Fargo has begun a consumer redress review program through which consumers who have not yet been made whole through other remediation programs already in place can seek to have their inquiry or complaint reviewed by a Wells Fargo escalation team for possible relief. “Wells Fargo had already set up programs to fix the problems it caused consumers, but some people got left out…

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State Grand Jury Issues Superseding Indictment Alleging Public Corruption by Former Fifth Circuit Solicitor Daniel Edward Johnson and his Former Director of Communications Nicole H. Holland

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Feb. 22, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has again issued a superseding indictment related to allegations of corruption at the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office. On February 21, 2019, the State Grand Jury issued a superseding indictment against former Fifth Circuit Solicitor Daniel Edward Johnson.  He had been previously indicted in September 2018 for Misconduct in Office and Embezzlement of Public Funds, and the superseding State Grand Jury indictment expanded those charges and also added a charge against Daniel Edward Johnson for Obtaining Property by False Pretenses. Nicole…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 19, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Bobby Justin Smith (age 35) of  Travelers Rest, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators state Smith distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     Smith was arrested on February 19, 2019.  He is charged with…

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York County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 19, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Terry Dale Burchett (age 69) of  Rock Hill, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the York County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with  the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Burchett. Investigators state Burchett possessed multiple files of child pornography.    …

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Aiken County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 19, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Tracy Lee Smith (age 61) of  Aiken, SC, on 25 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Smith distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     Smith was arrested on February 18, 2019.  He is charged with 11 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (§16-15-405), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count; and 14 counts…

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Florence County Man Arrested on Solicitation of a Minor Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 19, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Larry Dakota Blaze Kelly (age 20) of  Florence, SC, on one charge connected to the solicitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office (MD) assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Kelly. Investigators state Kelly solicited a minor for sex.   Kelly was arrested on February 12, 2019.  He is…

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Clarendon County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 15, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of David Dwayne Womack (age 28) of  Olanta, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with  the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Womack….

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Summerville Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 15, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Mark Leonard Melcher (age 67) of  Summerville, SC, on 20 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Summerville Police Department made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Melcher. Investigators state Melcher possessed multiple…

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Goose Creek Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 13, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Joshua Shane Burnette (age 33) of  Goose Creek, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Goose Creek Police Department made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Burnette distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     Burnette was arrested on February 11, 2019.  He is charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a…

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Richland County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 13, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Samuel Coffey (age 47) of  Columbia, SC, on two charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the York County Sheriff’s, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, and the San Francisco (CA) Police Department, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Coffey distributed child pornography.     Coffey was arrested on February 6, 2019.  He is charged with two counts of sexual exploitation…

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Dorchester County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 8, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Lucas Gardner Owens (age 23) of Summerville, SC on 20 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Summerville Police Department, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Owens.  Investigators state Owens distributed multiple files…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson joins 15 other states in brief supporting Kentucky’s regulation of abortion clinics

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 8, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined 15 other states in asking a federal appeals court to uphold states’ authority to regulate abortion clinics. He and the 16-state coalition are supporting the constitutionality of a Kentucky law requiring abortion clinics to maintain transfer-and-transport agreements with local hospitals. These arrangements enable quick access to higher-level medical care for patients who might experience emergencies or complications at clinics. The Kentucky provision existed for 19 years without issue. Then, hospitals in the Louisville area disassociated themselves from abortion clinics and ended the transfer-and-transport agreements. At that…

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Richland County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 7, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Joseph Edwards (age 31) of  Columbia, SC, on eight charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, and the Forest Acres Police Department, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Edwards distributed child pornography.     Edwards was arrested on February 1, 2019.  He is charged with eight counts…

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Spartanburg County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)  South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Edward Morris Firth, Jr. (age 31) of  Spartanburg, SC, on 15 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and United States Secret Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the search warrant and arrest.   Investigators state Firth distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     Firth was arrested on February 6,…

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Richland County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 5, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Robert Christopher Lee (age 49) of  Columbia, SC, on 15 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the search warrant and arrest.   Investigators state Lee possessed files of child pornography.     Lee was arrested on February 1, 2019.  He is charged…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 5, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Brian A. DiDonna (age 31) of  Myrtle Beach SC, on 20 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit and South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon services assisted with the execution of the search warrant and arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to DiDonna.  Investigators state…

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Charleston County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 25, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Zachary Scott Fasola (age 31) of  Mount Pleasant, SC, on 21 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Mount Pleasant Police Department, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, Charleston Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this arrest.   Investigators state Fasola distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     Fasola was arrested on January 24,…

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Richland County man sentenced to four years for child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 25, 2019 – A Richland County man has been sentenced to four years in prison for possessing more than 1,300 files of child pornography. Richard D. Albert, represented by Todd Rutherford, pleaded guilty on August 28, 2018 to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Third Degree in front of Judge Jocelyn Newman in Richland County.   He was sentenced Wednesday, January 23rd. “Our Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force continues to do great work getting these child predators off our streets,” Attorney General Alan Wilson said. “I hope this sends a message to others out there that…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson & 45 attorneys general reach $120 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson and DePuy regarding false and misleading statements concerning metal-on-metal hip implant devices

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 22, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that he and 45 other attorneys general reached a $120 million Consent Judgment with Johnson & Johnson and DePuy to resolve allegations that DePuy unlawfully promoted its metal-on-metal hip implant devices, the ASR XL and the Pinnacle Ultamet. The attorneys general allege that DePuy engaged in unfair [or unconscionable] and deceptive practices in its promotion of the ASR XL and Pinnacle Ultamet hip implant devices by making misleading claims as to the longevity, also known as survivorship, of  metal-on-metal hip implants.  DePuy advertised that the ASR…

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Sumter man sentenced to prison for insurance fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 18, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Arthur Rochester Goodman, 29, of Sumter, South Carolina, entered a plea of guilty on January 17, 2019 on an insurance fraud charge.  Goodman pleaded guilty to one count of Presenting a False Claim for Payment $2,000-$10,000 and one count of Presenting a False Claim for Payment Greater than $10,000. The Honorable Kristi F. Curtis accepted the plea and sentenced Goodman to two years in prison on his charges.  Judge Curtis also sentenced Mr. Goodman on a Burglary Third Degree charge.  He received a two-year sentence…

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Anderson County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)  – Jan. 18, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of John James Fread II (age 48) of  Easley, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Fread distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     Fread was arrested on January 16, 2019.  He is charged with seven counts of sexual exploitation of a minor,…

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York County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 14, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Recardo Shane Jackson (age 27) of Rock Hill, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the York County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Jackson.  Investigators state Jackson  distributed multiple files of child pornography.    …

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces three men plead guilty to child pornography charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 11, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that three men in the Upstate have pleaded guilty to child pornography charges and sentenced to prison. “Protecting our children from these predatory monsters is this office’s highest calling,” Attorney General Wilson said. “Our investigators and prosecutors gave it their best to assure justice was served.”   Michael G. Strother, represented by Teal Johnson, pleaded guilty on January 10, 2019, to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 1st degree, in front of Judge McIntosh in Greenville County.  In April 2017, Special Investigator Kevin Atkins with…

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Anderson County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 11, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Stephen Christopher Sisk (age 29) of  Anderson, SC, on 20 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Sisk was involved in a prior investigation which led to additional charges.  Investigators state Sisk possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Sisk was arrested on January 11, 2019.  He is charged with 20 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree (§16-15-410), a felony offense…

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Maryland Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges in Joint Investigation

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 11, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Fernando Alexis Mejia Funes (age 20) of  New Carlton, MD on seven charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest, with the cooperative assistance of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Maryland State Police (members of the Maryland ICAC Task Force).   Investigators received a complaint from a Lexington resident which led them to Funes.  Investigators state Funes encouraged a minor victim to produce and send sexually…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson releases 2018 Human Trafficking Task Force Annual Report

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 11, 2019 – On National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson released the state’s Human Trafficking Task Force annual report for 2018. South Carolina was recently recognized by Shared Hope International as the most improved state in the nation in combatting human trafficking. Human trafficking is the second largest crime worldwide, behind drug trafficking and tied with arms dealing. It’s often referred to as modern day slavery and it poses massive human rights, public safety, and public health concerns across the nation, including in South Carolina. “Many people think human trafficking is something you…

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AG Alan Wilson Joins $1.5M Settlement with Retailer Neiman Marcus over 2013 Data Breach

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – The Neiman Marcus Group LLC has agreed to pay $1.5 million and implement a number of policies to resolve an investigation with 43 states and the District of Columbia into the 2013 breach of customer payment card data at 77 Neiman Marcus stores in the United States, Attorney General Alan Wilson said today. In January 2014, Neiman Marcus disclosed that payment card data collected at certain of its retail stores had been compromised by an unknown third party. The states’ investigation determined that approximately 370,000 payment cards – 1,309 of which were associated with South Carolina consumers –…

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AG Alan Wilson moves to join lawsuit to block seismic testing and offshore drilling off SC coast

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 7, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today filed a motion in federal court aimed at blocking planned seismic testing and offshore drilling along the South Carolina coast. The attorney general filed a motion to join a lawsuit against the federal government filed by 16 South Carolina cities and towns and the state Small Business Chamber of Commerce.   “Once again the federal government seeks to intrude upon the sovereignty of the state of South Carolina,” Attorney General Wilson said. “Such action puts our State’s economy, tourism and beautiful natural resources at risk. We are…

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For-profit education company to forgo collecting loans, change practices in agreement with SC Attorney General Wilson, 48 AGs

Settlement will bring $493.7million in debt relief for CEC students (COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 4, 2019 – For-profit education company Career Education Corp. (CEC) has agreed to reform its recruiting and enrollment practices and forgo collecting about $493.7million in debts owed by 179,529 students nationally, in a settlement with South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and 48 other attorneys general. The Assurance of Voluntary Compliance filed Thursday caps a five-year investigation. “This company misled South Carolina students who were trying to better themselves and left them with debts they couldn’t pay because they were deceived about their chances of getting jobs,”…

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Kershaw County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 3, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Robert Walter Conant (age 57) of  Lugoff, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and United States Secret Service, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Conant. Investigators state Conant possessed…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson Joins 50 States, District of Columbia, in $575 Million Settlement with Wells Fargo

Agreement resolves state consumer protection claims for alleged unfair and deceptive trade practices [COLUMBIA, S. C.]  – Dec. 28, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced that Wells Fargo Bank N.A. will pay $575 million to resolve claims that the bank violated state consumer protection laws by (1) opening millions of unauthorized accounts and enrolling customers into online banking services without their knowledge or consent, (2) improperly referring customers for enrollment in third-party renters and life insurance policies, (3) improperly charging auto loan customers for force-placed and unnecessary collateral protection insurance, (4) failing to ensure that customers received refunds…

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Saluda Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 27, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Joshua Isiah Worthy (age 33) of  Saluda, SC, on eight charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Batesburg-Leesville Police Department assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Worthy possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Worthy was arrested on December 21, 2018.  He is charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree (§16-15-410), a felony offense punishable by up to…

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Richland County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 26, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Brent L. Shaner (age 30) of  Hopkins, SC, on 13 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Columbia Police Department, also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Shaner possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Shaner was arrested on December 19, 2018.  He is charged with 13 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree…

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Fairfield County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 20, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of John Thamer Luffman (age 31) of  Winnsboro, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office and United States Secret Service, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, and the Winnsboro Police Department, assisted with this arrest.   Investigators state Luffman distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     Luffman was arrested on December 19, 2018.  He is…

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Chapin Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 17, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Dieter Karl Bartschat (age 65) of  Chapin, SC, on 20 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and United States Secret Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this arrest.   Investigators state Bartschat possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Bartschat was arrested on December 17, 2018.  He is charged with…

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Charleston County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 17, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of James Dantzler Romero (age 62) of  Charleston, SC, on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the North Charleston Police Department, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Romero distributed child pornography.     Romero was arrested on December 13, 2018.  He is charged with six…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Criminal Sexual Conduct Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 17, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Morris Wayne Eugene Ballew (age 46) of  Mauldin, SC, on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Simpsonville and Mauldin Police Departments, both also  members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Ballew.  Investigators state Ballew  engaged in criminal…

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Calhoun County Man Arrested on Solicitation of a Minor Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 17, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Robert Bradley Wayman (age 22) of St. Matthews, S.C., on two charges connected to the solicitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Butler County (OH) Sheriff’ Office, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators state Wayman engaged in sexually-explicit conversations with and sent nude images to a minor via social media.   Wayman was arrested on December 13, 2018.  He is charged with one count of criminal solicitation of a minor…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Announces Fight Against Robocalls

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 6, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced that he has joined a bipartisan group of 40 state attorneys general to stop or reduce annoying and harmful robocalls. This coalition is reviewing the technology major telecom companies are pursuing to combat illegal robocalls. “Robocalls are one of the biggest complaints we get because they annoy all of us,” Attorney General Wilson said. “It’s difficult for states alone to fight these, especially when the calls come from other states or other countries, but we’re committed to working together to find ways to reduce them and make…

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Attorney General Wilson announces prison sentence for Greenville Co. man on child porn charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 5, 2018 – After one-and-a-half days of trial testimony, Kevin Mark Willson pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd Degree before Judge Edward Miller in Greenville County. Willson was represented by Jim Bannister. In June of 2015, Special Investigator Kevin Atkins of the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Unit was sent two child pornography files from an electronic device located at the residence of Kevin Mark Willson in Taylors, SC. Investigator Atkins secured a search warrant and executed it at the defendant’s home with the assistance of…

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Attorney General Wilson announces Sumter woman sentenced for insurance fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 5, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Kayla Breann Payne, 26, of Sumter, South Carolina, entered a plea of guilty on November 8, 2018 on an insurance fraud charge. Payne pleaded guilty to one count of Making a False Statement or Misrepresentation $1,000 or More. The Honorable R. Ferrell Cothran accepted the plea and sentenced Payne to three years in prison on the charge.  That sentence is suspended to 18 months of probation.  As a part of her probation, Payne must repay $800 restitution to USAA.  Probation may terminate upon her repayment…

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State Grand Jury Issues Indictments Alleging Conspiracies to Smuggle Large Amounts of Contraband into South Carolina Prisons

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Nov. 30, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued indictments related to allegations of sophisticated and highly lucrative conspiracies to smuggle large amounts of contraband into the South Carolina prisons. According to the indictments, prevalent types of contraband include pounds of loose cigarette tobacco, cell phones and cell phone accessories, marijuana, alcoholic beverages, and Synthetic Cannabinoid, also known as “K2”, “Deuce” or “Spice”. Other drugs, such as methamphetamine, suboxone, cocaine, and crack cocaine are also trafficked within the walls of the state prisons.  The indictments allege that…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 30, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of John T. Kondes (age 62) of  Conway, SC, on 18 charges connected to the  sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Conway Police Department, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Kondes distributed and possessed child pornography.  Kondes was previously convicted of related offenses in 2014 in New Jersey.   Kondes was arrested on…

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Richland County Man Arrested on Solicitation of a Minor Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 29, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Joshua B. Payne (age 36) of  Columbia, SC, on one charge connected to the solicitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Payne engaged in sexually explicit conversations with a minor victim.   Payne was arrested on November 19, 2018.  He is charged with one count of attempted criminal solicitation of a minor (§16-15-342), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.   The case will be prosecuted by…

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Beaufort County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 23, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Mitchell Thomas Campbell (age 26) of Beaufort, S.C., on two charges connected to the exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.     Investigators state Campbell possessed child pornography and sent nude images to a minor victim via social media.   Campbell was arrested on November 20, 2018.  He is charged with one…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 23, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Coleman J. Sullivan, Jr. (age 44) of Lexington, SC on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department made the arrest.     Investigators state Sullivan distributed files of child pornography.     Sullivan was arrested on November 18, 2018. He is charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (§16-15-405), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count.   The case will…

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Richland County Man Arrested on Solicitation of a Minor Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 23, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Brian Moore (age 33) of  Columbia, SC, on one charge connected to the solicitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Moore engaged in sexually explicit conversations with a minor victim.   Moore was arrested on November 20, 2018.  He is charged with one count of attempted criminal solicitation of a minor (§16-15-342), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.   The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 21, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Lee Alexander Sprayberry (age 31) of  Simpsonville, SC, on 10 charges connected to the exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, and the Atlanta Police Department, assisted with this investigation and arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to…

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Saluda County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)  – Nov. 16, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Brandon Lee Padgett (age 31) of  Saluda, SC, on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department and United States Secret Service, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this arrest. Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Padgett. Investigators state Padgett possessed multiple files of child…

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Mount Pleasant Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 16, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Edward Everret House (age 61) of  Mt. Pleasant, SC, on five charges connected to the  sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Mount Pleasant Police Department made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state House distributed and possessed child pornography.     House was arrested on November 13, 2018.  He is charged with one count of sexual exploitation…

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State Grand Jury issues indictment alleging public corruption in Sumter County

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 16, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued an indictment alleging public corruption in Sumter County. On November 14, 2018, the State Grand Jury charged VIVIAN (LIBBY) CAMPBELL DUBOSE [DUBOSE] with three counts, alleging embezzlement and misconduct in office. Count #1, embezzlement, alleges that DUBOSE, while serving in her capacity as the Director of the Child Early Reading Development and Education Program for the Sumter County School District [SCSD], did purchase or cause to be purchased a variety of consumer-type goods and unlawfully converted at…

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State Grand Jury Issues Indictment Alleging Money Laundering

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Nov. 15, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued an indictment alleging money laundering and a crime related to money laundering. On November 14, 2018, the State Grand Jury charged Brantley D. Thomas, III with two counts – alleging money laundering and breach of trust with fraudulent intent [as a crime related to money laundering]. Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent [count #1] alleges that, sometime between March 12, 2017 and September 7, 2018 in Charleston County, while THOMAS was entrusted with taking cash deposits from…

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State Grand Jury Issues Indictment #4 Alleging Public Corruption by former Chief Financial Officer of the Berkeley County School District

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Nov. 15, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has again issued a new indictment related to allegations of corruption at the Berkeley County School District [BCSD].     On November 14, 2018, the State Grand Jury charged Brantley D. Thomas, III with six additional charges related to public corruption. The State Grand Jury charged Brantley D. Thomas, III, 62, [THOMAS] who was the long-time lead financial officer for BCSD. These new indictments encompass five new charges for embezzlement and one new charge of misconduct in office.  Previously,…

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York County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 13, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Mark Steven Ehrnschwender (age 61) of Lake Wylie, on 12 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the York County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators state Ehrnschwender recorded nude minor victims without their knowledge or consent, and  distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     Ehrnschwender was arrested on November 12, 2018. He is charged…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces Medicaid provider sentenced to prison for fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 9, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that the owner of a counseling service has been sentenced to five years in prison for Medicaid fraud. Idris L. Talib, 38, owner of New Dominion Community Services, had offices in Anderson, Greenville, and Richland counties and was a provider under the South Carolina Medicaid Program. From September 2015 through December 2017, he submitted false claims to the Medicaid Program for counseling services that were not provided as claimed. Based on those false claims, Talib was paid $400,000 in Medicaid reimbursements. Talib pleaded guilty on April 26,…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson part of 20-state coalition supporting ICE

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 5, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined a multi-state coalition in a letter to Congressional leadership in support of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Over the past few months, ICE has endured calls for its abolishment, even though the breadth and depth of the agency’s efforts are critical to public safety. State attorneys general heavily rely on the Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which ICE is under, for their assistance in investigating criminal trafficking and financial operations involving foreign entities. General Wilson’s office also works with HSI on many of the cyber-crime arrests of child…

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Richland County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 2, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of David Vanalstyne (age 41) of  Columbia, SC, on four charges connected to the exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Vanalstyne engaged in sexually explicit communication with and traveled to meet someone he believed to be a minor.   Vanalstyne was arrested on October 23, 2018.  He is charged with two counts of attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor (§16-3-655); one count of criminal solicitation of a minor (§16-15-342), a…

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FREE clinic coming up in Sumter for veterans & service members with legal needs

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 2, 2018 – Veterans, members of the Reserves, and active-duty members of the military are invited to a FREE legal clinic on November 10th in Sumter. One of the hallmarks of the legal profession is its demonstrated commitment to service to the military, veterans, and their spouses. The Veterans, Active/Reserve Legal Out-Reach program, or V.A.L.O.R., aims to provide legal resources for the military and veterans through legal clinics and referral services to heavily-discounted legal resources. On November 10th, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Patriot Hall (Sumter County Cultural Center, 135 Haynsworth Street, Sumter SC),…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson joins 21-state coalition supporting Trump energy plan

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 1, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a 21-state coalition this week in expressing support for President Trump’s proposed replacement of the so-called Clean Power Plan, a disastrous, Obama-era rule. The bipartisan coalition, in comments filed late Wednesday with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, described President Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy rule as far preferable to the patently unlawful regime sought by the Obama-era Power Plan. “President Trump’s proposal would restore the rule of law and return power back to the states,” Attorney General Wilson said. “The new rule would also add some much-needed certainty…

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Attorney General Wilson encourages South Carolinians to safely dispose of unwanted medications Saturday

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson encourages all South Carolinians to take part in National Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, October, 27th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Twice a year, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) proclaims a national day to ask everyone to safely dispose of unused medication. At the last National Take Back Day, Americans collected a record-breaking 900,000 pounds of prescription drugs, more than the weight of three Boeing 757s. There are more than 4,000 locations nationwide where you can drop off your unused or unwanted medicines. To find a location near you,…

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Anderson County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 26, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Christian Thomas Young (age 43) of Anderson, SC on 21 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Anderson Police Department  and United States Secret Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the arrest.   Investigators state Young distributed files of child pornography.     Young was arrested on October 24, 2018. He is charged with 21 counts…

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Attorney General applauds Fourth Circuit ruling requiring plutonium removal from South Carolina

(COLUMBIA, S.C) – Oct. 26, 2018 – The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a ruling upholding Federal District Judge Michelle Childs’ order requiring the U.S. Department of Energy to remove one metric ton of plutonium from South Carolina by January 1, 2020. Congress passed a law requiring that the plutonium be removed from the Savannah River Site by January 1, 2016 if the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Facility’s production objective was not met by January 1, 2014. That objective was not met, so the State of South Carolina sued the Department of Energy in 2016. Judge Childs sided…

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State Grand Jury indicts 22 people after investigation of methamphetamine trafficking organization operating in Berkeley County

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 26, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that 22 people have been indicted as a result of a State Grand Jury investigation into a multi-county methamphetamine trafficking organization that was largely operating in Berkeley, Dorchester, and Sumter Counties.  The State Grand Jury returned indictments alleging a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy dating back to May 2015 and other offenses related to trafficking methamphetamine, distribution of cocaine, possession with the intent to distribute heroin and marijuana, firearms related charges, and other crimes. One of those indicted, Michael Allen Whitaker of Sumter, died October 1st, which is…

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Dorchester County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 23, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jesse Scott Palmer, III (age 57) of  Summerville, SC, on 20 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.   Investigators state Palmer possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Palmer was arrested on October 18, 2018.  He is charged with twenty counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree (§16-15-410), a felony offense punishable by up to ten years imprisonment on each count.   The case…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 23, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Enrique Manuel Sanchez (age 17) of  Prosperity, SC, on five charges connected to the exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Sanchez engaged in sexually activity with a minor, as well as produced and distributed files of child pornography.     Sanchez was arrested on October 15, 2018.  He is charged with one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, second degree (§16-3-655); one count of sexual exploitation of a…

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Attorney General Wilson announces sex trafficker sentenced to 12 years

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 22, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Edward Morris Greenwood, 32, of Columbus, GA pleaded guilty today to one count of sex trafficking of a minor and was sentenced to 12 years in prison by Judge Eugene Griffith. In April 2017, law enforcement received a tip that a 16-year-old girl was asking patrons of a gas station on Fish Hatchery Road in Lexington County if they wanted to engage in sexual activities. Officers responded and the minor told them that Greenwood was making her have sex with men and she was forced to…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 19, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jeffrey Daniel Lusk (age 32) of Pelzer, S.C., on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with Homeland Security Investigations (H.S.I.), also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators state Lusk distributed child pornography.     Lusk was arrested on October 17, 2018 and charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (16-15-405), a felony…

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Attorney General Wilson announces Sumter man pleads guilty to insurance fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – October 16, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Dashun Malik Canty, 21, of Sumter, South Carolina, entered a plea of guilty on October 3, 2018 on an insurance fraud charge. Canty pleaded guilty to one count of Presenting a False Claim for Payment $10,000 or More. The Honorable Kristi F. Curtis accepted the plea and sentenced Canty pursuant to the Youthful Offender Act.  His sentence is not to exceed three years in prison on his charge.  That sentence is suspended to three years of probation. “We will continue to go after people who…

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York County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 15, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Scott Anthony Mutterer (age 53) of Clover, SC, on two charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the York County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and US Marshals Service, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation and arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Mutterer. Investigators state Mutterer…

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Sumter County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 10, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Duston Steven Jones (age 22) of  Sumter, SC, on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office, Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, and United States Secret Service, all members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Jones. Investigators…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 10, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Keith Gary Butt (age 47) of  Fountain Inn, SC, on seven charges connected to the exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Butt. Investigators state Butt distributed and possessed files of child pornography.  …

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Continuing fight to protect Second Amendment rights, AG Alan Wilson part of 17-state coalition against overreaching gun restriction

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 10, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson on Tuesday joined with 16 other states in a court brief supporting Second Amendment rights in response to New York City’s “premises permit” restrictions applicable to handguns kept for self-defense. The coalition asks the United States Supreme Court to consider the permitting scheme’s burden on Second Amendment rights, the full extent of those rights, and the applicability of those rights to self-defense outside the home. “We think New York’s restriction clearly violates the Second Amendment,” Attorney General Wilson said. “As our states’ top prosecutors, we’re all in favor of…

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North Charleston Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 9, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Christian Liam Smith (age 19) of  North Charleston, SC, on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the North Charleston Police Department made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Smith distributed child pornography.     Smith was arrested on October 3, 2018.  He is charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree…

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Attorney General Wilson joins coalition fighting lawsuit that could kill jobs and cost states billions

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 5, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined a 12-state coalition of attorneys general fighting another lawsuit that would allow some cities to set energy policy for the entire nation. The lawsuit was filed by King County in Washington State against BP, Chevron, and other energy companies. The state attorneys general are asking the Court to allow them to file a brief in support of dismissing the lawsuit. The states argue that, if this lawsuit goes forward, other cities and states could be sued, hurting state economies and job creators. “King County’s theory of…

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Silent Witness Ceremony Honored 2017 Victims of Fatal Domestic Violence

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – October 2, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson led participants through the 21st annual Silent Witness Domestic Violence ceremony that was held today on the south steps of the State House in Columbia. During the solemn ceremony, Attorney General Wilson called the names of 29 women and 11 men from across the state who lost their lives as the result of domestic violence in the previous year. Victims’ family members, friends, or volunteers carried a life-sized silhouette representing the victim to the State House steps as a bell was rung for each victim.  An additional 41st silhouette represented…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson takes action to protect voting rights in South Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Florence

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – ****UPDATE***** Oct. 2, 2018 – Judge Robert Hood today granted the Attorney General’s motion to extend the voter registration deadline to October 17th, giving voters an additional 10 days to register.   Sept. 28, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has taken action to protect voting rights in South Carolina during historic flooding by asking the courts to extend the deadline to register to vote. Right now, in order to vote in the 2018 General Election, you must be registered to vote before Sunday, October 7th. But thousands of South Carolina voters in the northeastern part of…

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ATTORNEYS GENERAL REACH $148 MILLION SETTLEMENT WITH UBER OVER DATA BREACH

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 26, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that he, along with the other 49 states and the District of Columbia, has reached an agreement with California-based ride-sharing company Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber) to address the company’s one-year delay in reporting a data breach to its affected drivers. Uber learned in November 2016 that hackers had gained access to some personal information that Uber maintains about its drivers, including drivers’ license information pertaining to approximately 600,000 drivers nationwide. Uber tracked down the hackers and obtained assurances that the hackers deleted the information. However, even though some of…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces another victory for SCE&G ratepayers

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 21, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that the rate decrease for SCE&G customers passed by the state legislature will now continue. Today, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied SCE&G’s motion to stop the rate decrease while a court battle over it continues. The Court also denied SCE&G’s request to speed-up that lawsuit, denied the company’s request to dismiss it, and allowed Attorney General Wilson to file friend-of-the-court briefs in the case. “This is another big win for SCE&G ratepayers,” Attorney General Wilson said. “We’ve argued that customers should not have to…

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State Grand Jury Issues Indictments Alleging Public Corruption by Suspended Fifth Circuit Solicitor Daniel Edward Johnson and Nicole H. Holland the Former Director of Communications for the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Sept. 20, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has again issued a new indictment related to allegations of corruption at the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office. On September 20, 2018, the State Grand Jury charged suspended Fifth Circuit Solicitor Daniel Edward Johnson with Misconduct in Office. The State Grand Jury also charged Daniel Edward Johnson and Nicole H. Holland with Embezzlement of Public Funds. The Misconduct in Office charge alleges that in 2017 JOHNSON willfully and dishonestly failed to properly and faithfully discharge his duties as the Fifth…

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Attorney General Wilson announces multiple convictions for insurance fraud in Sumter

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – September 17, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Heaven Fran’Tesha Kieonna Johnson, 19, Jordan O’Neil Frierson, 18, and Antonio Debree Jackson, 21, all of Sumter, South Carolina, and Michael Raheim Lucas, 21, of Gable, South Carolina entered pleas of guilty on September 5, 2018 on insurance fraud charges. Johnson and Frierson each pleaded guilty to one count of Making a False Statement or Misrepresentation $1,000 – $10,000.  Jackson and Lucas both pleaded guilty to one count of Presenting a False Claim for Payment Less than $2,000.   The Honorable George M. McFaddin, Jr. accepted…

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Attorney General Wilson announces guilty plea for insurance fraud tied to bogus burglary

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – September 17, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Timothy Hicks, 51, of Lamar, South Carolina, entered a plea of guilty on September 10, 2018 on an insurance fraud charge. Hicks pleaded guilty to one count of Presenting a False Claim for Payment $2,000 – $10,000. The Honorable Paul M. Burch accepted the plea and sentenced Hicks to five years in prison on his charge.  That sentence is suspended to two years of probation. “Our team is working hard to fight insurance fraud,” said Attorney General Wilson. “Regardless of what kind of insurance fraud…

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ATTORNEY GENERAL WILSON URGES CONGRESS TO SUPPORT FUNDING UNDER VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – September 17, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined 55 other state and territory attorneys general to urge Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The attorneys general sent a letter earlier today to congressional leaders and the chairs of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, urging lawmakers to vote to reauthorize VAWA before it expires this year. “The Violence Against Women Act has been a tremendous help to those of us who are working to reduce domestic violence and sexual assault in South Carolina,” Attorney General Wilson said. “We just announced millions in grants going…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Announces Price-Gouging Law in Effect

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Sept. 8, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the state’s law against price gouging is now in effect, since Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency. “With the possibility that Tropical Storm Florence could make landfall in South Carolina, likely as a hurricane, our people have already started making preparations. We can expect normal price increases, but we may see businesses and individuals looking to unfairly take advantage of the situation through price gouging of food, gasoline, lodging, and other commodities as defined by the statute. By our law, that’s a criminal violation…

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AG Alan Wilson joins multistate coalition urging Supreme Court to allow police officers to act to protect public safety

WASHINGTON, D. C. – August 28, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined a coalition of 15 states and the District of Columbia in filing a brief urging the United States Supreme Court to protect police from frivolous claims of false arrest. The brief urges the Court to overrule a lower court and hold that a police officer is not subject to a retaliatory-arrest suit when the officer had probable cause to make the arrest. The brief explains that a contrary ruling would constrain officers’ ability to protect the public, including through community policing. “Police officers have a hard…

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Attorney General’s Office Supports Launch of Multi-County Regional Human Trafficking Task Force

(Columbia, S.C.) – August 27, 2018 – The South Carolina Office of the Attorney General announces the launch of the Multi-County Regional Human Trafficking Task Force on Tuesday, August 28th at 10 AM. The Attorney General’s office, as the Chair of the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force, is supporting the regional task force co-chairs, the Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Person and Aiken Public Safety Department. The meeting will be held at the Cumbee Center, 254 Beaufort Street NE, Aiken, SC. “As successful as the statewide Human Trafficking Task Force has been, I believe that to win this war…

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Two indicted for leaving body in funeral home storage room for 3 years

(SPARTANBURG, S.C.) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces the Spartanburg County Grand Jury has returned indictments against two men in connection with a decomposed body found at Family First Funeral Home in Spartanburg. Lawrence Robert Meadows and Roderick Mitchell Cummings were indicted Friday, August 24, 2018, on separate counts of Desecration of Human Remains, violating S.C. Code Section 16-17-600 (A). The indictment alleges Meadows and Cummings failed to properly care for the victim’s body while operating Family First Funeral Home. The victim’s body was left unattended in a storage room for over three years. When recovered, the victim’s…

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Two men guilty of child pornography get 8 years each in prison in separate cases

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – August 24, 2018 – Roger Eugene Hewitt, Jr. pleaded guilty Wednesday to five counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the Third Degree in Darlington County in front of Judge Roger Henderson. In April of 2015, investigators with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, both members of the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, conducted an investigation regarding the distribution of child pornography over the Internet which led them to the defendant. The Darlington County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the defendant’s home, where multiple devices were seized.  Following a forensic examination,…

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Hartsville man sentenced to 7 years for abusing two-month-old daughter

(DARLINGTON, S.C.) –  August 23, 2018 – Fredrick Walker, 27, of Hartsville, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of Unlawful Neglect of a child in front of Judge Roger Henderson. Judge Henderson sentenced him to seven years in prison for the physical abuse of his two-month-old daughter. A medical examination of the child showed seven different breaks and fractures in her body in various stages of healing. The defendant had been previously convicted for physically abusing his older daughter. Unlawful conduct carries up to 10 years in prison and the Attorney General’s Office made no recommendation on sentencing.

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Attorney General Alan Wilson urges Congress to close deadly fentanyl loophole

(COLUMBIA, S.C)  –  August 23, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, as part of a bipartisan group of 52 state and territory attorneys general, called on Congress today to help end the opioid epidemic and close a loophole that allows those who traffic deadly fentanyl to stay a step ahead of law enforcement. “It’s going to take all of us working together to end this opioid epidemic, and Congress can play a part by passing this law,” said Attorney General Wilson. “A large percentage of the people who die from opioid overdoses are killed by fentanyl, so the…

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AG Wilson files brief to uphold SCE&G rate cut

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – August 22, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson has filed a brief to support dismissing SCE&G’s appeal of a ruling that temporarily cut ratepayers’ bills. The attorney general’s brief argues that the U.S. Court of Appeals does not have jurisdiction to hear this case because of the Johnson Act, which ensures that federal courts have a “hands-off policy relative to ratemaking.” The brief says, “The legislative history of the Johnson Act … makes clear that its purpose was to prevent public utilities from going to federal district court to challenge state administrative orders or to avoid state administrative…

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AG Wilson applauds Trump administration for returning power to states

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – August 22, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today applauded President Trump and the Environmental Protection Agency for proposing the “Affordable Clean Energy” rule to replace the Obama administration’s so-called Clean Power Plan, or CPP. “President Trump and the EPA have restored the rule of law and returned power back to the states,” Attorney General Wilson said. “The new rule also adds some much-needed certainty to our energy industry, both for regulators and for consumers.” A bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general filed legal challenges to the Obama administration’s blatant overreach of executive power. A total…

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SC Attorney General joins President at White House to salute heroes who protect our borders

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – August 20, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson was invited to the White House Monday to help salute the heroes of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection. “The men and women of ICE and CBP risk their lives every day to protect all of us and they deserve our support and admiration,” Attorney General Wilson said. President Donald Trump hosted the event to highlight the importance of their work and support their continued efforts. Some Democrats have called to abolish ICE, and 167 Democrats in the House of Representatives recently refused to vote…

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Free clinic for veterans & service members with legal needs gets large turnout in Greenwood

(GREENWOOD, S.C. ) – August 18, 2018 – Veterans from several counties got free legal help Saturday at the Greenwood Veterans Center during a V.A.L.O.R. Program clinic there. The clinic was sponsored by the SC Attorney General’s V.A.L.O.R. Program, which was announced on Veterans Day last year. V.A.L.O.R. stands for Veterans, Active & Reserve Legal OutReach.   Attorney General Alan Wilson attended the clinic and helped veterans fill out forms and get the help they needed. “The legal profession has always recognized it has a moral obligation to support those who defend the freedoms we treasure,” said Attorney General Wilson, who’s also a…

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Attorney General Wilson joins lawmakers asking court to allow SCE&G rate cut to continue

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  August 16, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has filed a brief in support of the state legislature’s effort to bring relief to SCE&G ratepayers and to hold SCE&G accountable for its spending on the V.C. Summer nuclear plant. SCE&G has appealed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. U.S. District Court Judge Michelle Childs ruled recently that a law passed by the legislature to temporarily cut SCE&G’s rates by 15 percent should be allowed to take effect. That rate cut is now in effect.  SCE&G is asking the Court of Appeals…

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Three plead guilty to insurance fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 13, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Sumter residents Tykeem Ra Hsan Jomal Sumpter, 23, Raekwon Rasheen Reyes Owens, 22, and Khalil Jabraun Hilton, 19, entered pleas of guilty on August 9, 2018 on insurance fraud charges. Sumpter pleaded guilty to one count of Making a False Statement or Misrepresentation Between $1,000 – $10,000.  Owens pleaded guilty to one count of Presenting a False Claim for Payment Between $2,000 – $10,000 and one count of Resisting Arrest.  Hilton pleaded guilty to one count of Making a False Statement or Misrepresentation Less than $2,000….

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SC Constitutional Ballot Commission approves amendment wording for November

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – South Carolina’s Constitutional Ballot Commission gave its unanimous approval Thursday to the wording of a constitutional amendment that will be on November’s ballot. The commission is made up of Attorney General Alan Wilson, Director of the State Election Commission Marci Andino, and Ashley Harwell-Beach, representing the Director of Legislative Council. If the amendment passes, it would change the way South Carolina’s superintendent of education is chosen starting in January 2023. Now, voters elect the superintendent. The amendment asks voters if they want to change that so future governors would choose a superintendent, with the consent of the…

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Registered sex offender sentenced for new crimes

(GREENVILLE, S.C.) – Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Danny Wayne Long pleaded guilty to one count of Criminal Solicitation of a Minor and one count of Dissemination of Obscene Material to a Person under Eighteen Years of Age in Greenville County on August 7, 2018, in front of Judge Letitia Verdin. In July of 2015, Inv. Michael Rainey with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the Boone, North Carolina Police Department that Danny Wayne Long, a registered sex offender, was posting ads on Craigslist in search of young females for sex. Inv. Rainey created an undercover persona…

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Man pleads guilty to sending explicit photo to 14-year-old

(MARION, S.C.) – Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Shawn Donald Martindell pleaded guilty today to one count of Dissemination of Obscene Material to a Person Under 18 Years of Age, a mandatory sex offender registry offense. He entered the plea in Marion County in front of Judge Kristi Curtis. In February of 2017, a mother made an incident report with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office alleging that Shawn Donald Martindell sent a sexually explicit image to her 14-year-old daughter. Martindell was subsequently interviewed by Lt. Darren Miles with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, also a member of the Attorney…

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State Grand Jury Indicts 27 People After Investigation of Heroin, Methamphetamine, Cocaine, and Marijuana Trafficking Organization Operating in the Midlands

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  August 7 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that 27 people have been indicted as a result of a State Grand Jury investigation into a statewide heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana trafficking organization that was largely operating in the Midlands of South Carolina, primarily Lexington and Richland counties.  Covering a conspiracy that began in May of 2015, the State Grand Jury returned 21 indictments alleging multiple but connected charges and conspiracies, each related to trafficking 28 grams or more of heroin, 400 grams or more of methamphetamine, trafficking heroin, trafficking methamphetamine, trafficking cocaine, firearms-related charges,…

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Attorney General Wilson Announces Six Plead Guilty as Part of Theft Ring

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – August 1, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that six individuals pleaded guilty this week for their roles in the theft and sale of nearly $400,000 worth of personal property stolen from victims in Marlboro County. Among those that entered pleas are: Christopher Jermaine Carter of Bennettsville, SC, who pleaded guilty to one count of Grand Larceny over $10,000, four counts Grand Larceny value over $2,000 but less than $10,000, one count Burglary-Third Degree, and one count Criminal Conspiracy; Jamie Truett Gray of Bennettsville, SC who pleaded guilty to nine counts Grand Larceny value over…

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SC Attorney General AlanWilson Joins FTC and 50 States to Combat Fraudulent Charities That Falsely Claim to Help Veterans and Service Members

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 19, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joins the Federal Trade Commission and law enforcement officials and charity regulators from every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam and Puerto Rico[1] in announcing “Operation Donate with Honor,” a sweeping new donor education campaign to help donors spot and avoid fundraising solicitations that falsely promise their donations will help veterans and service members. The new campaign is being released in conjunction with announcements of new and recent law enforcement actions by the FTC and many states. Every year, grateful Americans repay the sacrifices made by those…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Joins 26 States Urging Swift Confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — July 13, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a 26-state coalition in urging Senate leaders to confirm the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. The coalition expressed its support in a Thursday letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein. “Throughout his career, Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated an abiding commitment to the principles and freedoms on which our country was founded, and an unshakable respect for the proper role of the courts within our constitutional…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces additional aid for families of murder victims

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 9, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson is pleased to announce that the South Carolina Legislature has approved a new Proviso for fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019) raising the amount the Department of Crime Victim Compensation (DCVC) can pay towards a funeral and burial for eligible homicide victim claims.  Those victims were able to receive up to $4,000 for funeral and burial expenses. They will now be able to receive up to $6,500. This new cap applies to claims received by the Attorney General’s Department of Crime Victim Compensation on or after…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces arrest of Anderson man for criminal sexual conduct with a minor

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 10, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that William Jolly, 26, from Anderson, SC, was arrested today on two charges of criminal sexual conduct with a minor- 3rd degree.  He appeared before Judge Scott Sprouse who set his bond at $40,000.00 with an order from the Judge that he shall have no contact with the victim or other minors and that he will wear a GPS monitor. It is alleged that William Jolly committed lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 16 in Anderson and Berkeley counties on multiple occasions from 2015-2017. A person…

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AG Alan Wilson praises federal court’s dismissal of lawsuit against fossil-fuel producers

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 28, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that a 15-state coalition, including South Carolina and led by Indiana, has prevailed in its support of a motion to dismiss a federal lawsuit filed by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland against various energy and manufacturing companies. The cities of San Francisco and Oakland, in the name of the State of California, had claimed that five fossil-fuel-producing corporations were violating “common law” because they contributed to global warming – which, the plaintiffs said, constitutes a “public nuisance.” The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of…

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South Carolina Human Trafficking Youth Advocacy Summit Aims to Educate High School Students from throughout the State

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 27, 2018 – The South Carolina Office of the Attorney General, Children’s Trust of SC, and the SC Commission for Minority Affairs today hosted the first ever Human Trafficking Youth Advocacy Summit to educate high school students. It was held at the Richland 2 Innovation Center (R2i2) in the Village at Sandhill in Columbia. The daylong, free event was open to all high school students and included lunch as well as door prizes and anti-human trafficking resources. There were also non-profit and state agency groups distributing materials to the youth. “This was a great opportunity for young people from…

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Sumter County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 28, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Danny Eric Hope (age 55) of Sumter, SC, on fifteen charges connected to the exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this arrest.   Investigators state Hope distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     Hope was arrested on June 28, 2018.  He is charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (§16-15-405),…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces prison sentence in insurance fraud case

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 19, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Lynette Lide, 43, of Timmonsville, South Carolina, entered a plea of guilty on June 15, 2018 on insurance fraud charges. Lide pleaded guilty to one count of Presenting a False Claim for Payment Between $2,000 – $10,000 and one count of Presenting a False Claim for Payment Greater Than $10,000. The Honorable Thomas A. Russo accepted the plea and sentenced Lide to one year in prison on the charges. Lide also pleaded guilty to two additional charges of Shoplifting and Escape and was sentenced to 18…

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Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Arrests 48 Suspected Child Predators in Conjunction with Operation Broken Heart

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 12, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force arrested 48 suspected child sex offenders in South Carolina as part of Operation Broken Heart. “Internet predators continue to find new and innovative ways to prey upon our children and South Carolina is no exception,” said Attorney General Alan Wilson. “We must continue to expand our efforts to not only investigate and prosecute these crimes, but educate parents and youth on how they can be more vigilant and safe using technology.”   The three-month national operation was conducted during the months…

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Judge sides with South Carolina Attorney General and blocks shutdown of MOX Project

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 7, 2018 – A federal judge has blocked the proposed shutdown of the MOX Project at the Savannah River Site in Aiken County. Judge Michelle Childs sided with Attorney General Alan Wilson’s argument that allowing the project to be shut down would irreparably harm the state. The state argued in federal court on Tuesday that shutting down the project would doom the state to being the nation’s permanent dumping ground for plutonium since there is no other disposal method approved by Congress. The MOX Project will turn weapons-grade plutonium into mixed oxide fuel to be used in…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson asks Court to block illegal federal land grab

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 6, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson and the attorneys general of 10 other states today asked a federal court to block an Obama-era rule they say will hurt states and their landowners. The states are asking for a preliminary injunction against the 2015 Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, rule that expands federal control over private land. The states are trying to stop the rule permanently but are asking for a preliminary injunction to keep it from being put into place while the lawsuit is pending. The motion states that if the 2015 WOTUS Rule…

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Attorney General Wilson and Human Trafficking Task Force discuss new tools, educating youth

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 1, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson told the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force Friday that the state has new tools to help fight the crime. The state legislature strengthened state laws against human trafficking, at the urging of the Attorney General’s Office. One law created a 30-year non-parolable offense for trafficking in minors. Lawmakers also changed the wording of the law against human trafficking to make it easier to prosecute the buyers of trafficking victims under the human trafficking law. South Carolina Legal Services also has a first for the state: a full-time attorney who…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson files for injunction to stop shutdown of MOX project in SC

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 25, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today filed a motion in federal court asking for an injunction to stop the U.S. Department of Energy from shutting down the mixed oxide fuel, or MOX, project being built at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. “MOX is another example of a long and tortured history of promises broken by the federal government,” Attorney General Wilson said. According to a memorandum in support of a preliminary injunction, for more than 20 years, the Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration have recommended that the U.S. dispose of…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces recovery of $65,000 stolen from taxpayers by Medicaid fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 25, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that his Medicaid Recipient Fraud division has recovered just under $65,000 in Medicaid benefits from a recipient in Aiken County who fraudulently got those benefits. This was not a conviction in court so we cannot name the recipient, due to privacy restrictions. The recipient got the Medicaid benefits over several years and, after our investigation, agreed to repay $64,900.23, which the Attorney General’s Office received May 24th. “This is a victory for taxpayers, who are happy to help their neighbors in need but certainly don’t want their tax money…

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AG Wilson gives US Energy Secretary notice of intent to sue over MOX plant

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 22, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson sent a letter today to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry giving him notice the state intends to file a lawsuit against the United States, the Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration, and their respective officers in their official capacities, to challenge Secretary Perry’s certification to terminate the MOX (Mixed Oxide) Project at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The purpose of the MOX plant is to convert weapons-grade plutonium into fuel for nuclear reactors. In his letter, Attorney General Wilson says, “South Carolina is disappointed…

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Attorney General Wilson announces lengthy sentence for crime spree

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 22, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Brittany Michelle Furubotten, 33, of Swansea, South Carolina, entered guilty pleas to one count of Burglary, 2nd degree (Violent), one count of Burglary, 2nd degree (Non-violent), and five counts of Forgery, value less than $10,000. The Honorable R. Lawton McIntosh accepted the plea and sentenced Furubotten to 12 years on the Burglary 2nd (Violent), 10 years on the Burglary 2nd(Non-violent), and 5 years on each of the Forgery charges, with all of the sentences to run concurrently. Additionally, as a result of her guilty plea, she…

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AG Wilson Joins Walgreens to Announce Expansion of Safe Medication Disposal Program in South Carolina

(COLUMBIA, SC) –  May 21, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined Walgreens to announce the expansion of safe medication disposal kiosks to more Walgreens locations in South Carolina. AmerisourceBergen, Pfizer and Prime Therapeutics are joining Walgreens to expand the availability of the year-round safe medication disposal kiosks to 20 locations throughout the state. The expansion is part of an effort announced last year by leading health care organizations to combat the national opioid abuse crisis by increasing the availability of safe medication disposal kiosks to an additional 900 Walgreens drugstores around the country. When the expansion…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Leads Coalition in Support of Stiffer Penalties for Irresponsible Drug Manufacturers

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — May 21, 2018 — South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, along with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Washington Attorney General Robert Ferguson, led a bipartisan coalition of 39 state and territory attorneys general to call on congressional leaders to promptly pass measures to help hold opioid manufacturers accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic and stem diversion. “Diversion of prescription opioids has devastated communities in our states,” said Attorney General Wilson and the other attorneys general in their letter. “The consequences of turning a blind eye to suspicious opioid order cannot merely be a cost…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Leads Coalition in Support of Expanding Small Business Healthcare Options

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)  – May 18, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is co-leading a coalition of 14 states in sending a letter to Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, applauding the Department’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which aims to allow for more small businesses to become eligible to participate in Association Health Plans (AHPs). “In an uncertain legal and regulatory environment where healthcare costs continue to rise and choices are limited, Americans need more options and predictability for affordable healthcare,” said Attorney General Wilson. “We applaud the Department of Labor’s efforts in seeking to allow eligible small businesses the…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson Helps Launch Digital Prescription Drug Safety Initiative for Teens

(GREENVILLE, S.C.) – May 17, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson joined Greenville County Schools today at the launch of a new educational initiative aimed to empower South Carolina high school students with the skills to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription medications and understand the dangers of misusing these drugs. The program launch was held at Mauldin High School with representatives from the student government as well as school and district leadership.   The program, developed by EVERFI, the nation’s leading technology innovator used in one-in-seven high schools nationwide, is available in select high schools across the state at…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Announces Insurance Fraud Guilty Plea

(SUMTER, S.C.) – May 18, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces the guilty plea and sentencing of a Sumter County man who defrauded Geico out of over $10,000. On May 16, 2018, Shyquan Marquez Soloman, 20, pleaded guilty to Presenting a False Claim for Payment Over $10,000.  Under the Youthful Offender Act, Judge D. Craig Brown gave him a sentence not to exceed 6 years.  This sentence was suspended to 5 years of probation.  A special condition of probation is for Mr. Soloman to pay $10,166.45 in restitution.  Probation may terminate upon payment in full of all fines,…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces the creation of the Money Services Division

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 14, 2018 –  South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has announced the creation of the Money Services Division of the Attorney General’s Office.  The recently enacted South Carolina Anti-Money Laundering Act names the Attorney General as Commissioner over money transmitters and currency exchange businesses in this state.   Starting today, [Monday, May 14,] the Money Services Division will begin accepting applications for licenses to conduct money transmission and currency exchange services in South Carolina.  Applications will be required to be made using the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System.   “The licensing and review process will protect the interests of…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces gang indictments involving Columbia murder and other crimes

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 3, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today State Grand Jury criminal gang-related indictments of eight people in Richland, Lexington, and Newberry Counties on murder, attempted murder, burglary, conspiracy and other offenses.  The indictments allege that the defendants committed these crimes as members of a criminal gang. “These indictments describe a gang that allegedly carried out acts of violence throughout the Midlands,” Attorney General Wilson said. “The State Grand Jury, the Attorney General’s Office, and state and local law enforcement will continue to work together to make our communities safer.” The indictments were handed…

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AG Wilson Joins Lawsuit Challenging Unlawful Obama-Era DACA Program

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 1, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is part of a coalition of seven states that filed a lawsuit today against the federal government to end the unconstitutional Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which granted lawful presence and work permits to nearly one million unlawfully present aliens without congressional approval. As of August 21, 2017, DACA led to U.S. citizenship for 1,056 aliens and provided a pathway to citizenship for 39,514 aliens – even though the Obama administration promised the program would not grant any pathway to citizenship. Siding with the rule…

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Attorney General Wilson Announces State Receives $81 Million in Tobacco Settlement Funds

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 27, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the State secured $81,104,834.10, in its share of the annual tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”) Payment. “These payments are incredibly important to the taxpayers of South Carolina because they mean the tobacco companies are repaying the state for some of the costs related to smoking,” Attorney General Wilson said. In 1998, the Attorney General’s Office joined 45 other States, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories in settling claims with the then four major U.S. cigarette manufacturers.  The MSA is the largest financial…

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AG Alan Wilson Part of 20-State Injunction Against Obamacare

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 26, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is part of a 20-state coalition that today filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction against the federal government’s Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. In February, the same 20-state coalition filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare, explaining that Congress rendered all of Obamacare unconstitutional by doing away with the tax penalty in Obamacare’s individual mandate when it enacted President Trump’s tax overhaul. In the motion for a preliminary injunction, the 20-state coalition told the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas that…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson Announces Health Care Insurance Fraud Conviction

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 26, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces the guilty plea and sentencing of a Texas man who defrauded Genworth Financial out of over $35,000. On April 25, 2018, John P. Sankey, 53, pleaded guilty to Making a False Representation over $1,000.  Judge George M. McFaddin gave him a three year sentence.  This sentence was suspended to 3 years of probation.  A special condition of probation is for Mr. Sankey to pay $35,506.55 in restitution.  Probation may terminate upon payment in full of restitution and assessments.  Mark Hardee of the Hardee Law Firm in Columbia represented…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson joins 15-state coalition seeking dismissal of lawsuit against energy and manufacturing companies

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 25, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined a 15-state coalition of attorneys general fighting a lawsuit filed by San Francisco and Oakland against various energy and manufacturing companies. According to the states’ brief, the cities are suing in the name of the State of California, “to harness the power and prestige of federal courts to remedy global climate change.” “We cannot let two California cities use the court system to set energy policy for the whole country and bypass our elected representatives in Congress,” Attorney General Wilson said. “This lawsuit would be a disaster…

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DARLINGTON COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO RUNNING ILLEGAL GAMBLING OPERATION

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 24, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Christopher Hayne Witherspoon, 44, of Darlington, South Carolina, entered a guilty plea this morning to one count of Keeping of a Gaming House and one count of Unlawful Possession of a Slot, Video, or Gambling Device, each offense carrying a maximum penalty of one year incarceration and a $2,000 fine and $500 fine, respectively.  The Honorable Paul Burch accepted the guilty plea and sentenced Witherspoon to the maximum sentence and fine for each charge, suspended upon the service of one year probation and a total of $750…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Announces State Grand Jury Indicts Walhalla Police Chief

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 20, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that on April 19th, 2018, the State Grand Jury indicted Ronald Wilbanks, the former Police Chief for the City of Walhalla, on three counts of Misconduct in Office. Wilbanks resigned from his position on April 17th. He was the police chief of Walhalla since 2012 and a member of the police department for 12 years. Count One of the indictment alleges that from January 2010 until December 2017, Wilbanks asked for and illegally obtained from officers and subordinates under his command narcotic and opiate pills that the officers…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Announces Guilty Plea Tied to Large Insurance Fraud Ring

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 13, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces the guilty plea and sentencing of a Sumter man who was part of a large insurance fraud ring. On April 12, 2018, Jair Hakeem Golden, 21, pleaded guilty as charged to Presenting a False Claim for Payment Greater than $10,000.  Judge R. Ferrell Cothran gave him a Youthful Offender Act sentence, not to exceed 6 years.  This sentence was suspended to 5 years of probation.  A special condition of probation is for Mr. Golden to pay $16,564.12 in restitution.  Probation may terminate upon the payment of restitution. …

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Joins 11-State Coalition Supporting Alabama’s Voter ID Law

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 13, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined an amicus brief supporting an Alabama law requiring voters to show personal identification at the polls. Attorneys general from 10 other states signed onto the filing. Several civil rights groups have sued Alabama, claiming minorities are discouraged from casting ballots when they must produce IDs. Attorney General Wilson said IDs are easy to obtain and create no undue hardships for minority voters. A U.S. district court already has upheld Alabama’s law as a constitutional safeguard against fraud and abuse, but plaintiffs now have taken their arguments to…

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The South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force Congratulates Doors to Freedom for Opening South Carolina’s Only Safe Home for Underage Victims of Sex Trafficking

(Columbia, S.C.) – April 9, 2018 – There are hundreds of thousands of children being exploited in the United States each year. In fact, sex trafficking is negatively impacting communities across our state. The South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force, chaired by the Attorney General’s Office, is leading the way in counter-human trafficking efforts through community awareness, legal innovation, and support services to victims. Today, the Task Force recognizes a milestone in the anti-human trafficking movement.   “This is an eventful day in South Carolina’s efforts to support child victims of sex trafficking,” said Attorney General Alan Wilson. “We congratulate…

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Anti-Crime Provision Pushed by AG Alan Wilson and State AGs Included in Federal Budget Signed by President

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 27, 2018 – The final federal spending plan that President Trump signed into law last Friday includes a provision that will make it easier to convict criminals who try to hide evidence on overseas computer servers. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson was one of 36 state attorneys general who sent Congress a letter urging it to pass the CLOUD Act. CLOUD stands for Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data. Under the Stored Communications Act, or SCA, a law enforcement agency can get a search warrant for someone’s email or other online accounts if a judge…

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AG Alan Wilson Joins Lawsuit Against California to Uphold Immigration Law and Protect Public Safety

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 26, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined the fight against the state of California and its sanctuary cities policy. South Carolina joined a coalition of 18 states which today filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the Trump administration’s lawsuit against California over state laws that intentionally obstruct the federal government’s ability to enforce the nation’s immigration law.   In the brief, the attorneys general highlight a 2012 case where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states cannot stand in the way of federal agents following federal immigration law. In that case (Arizona v….

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces drug and gang indictments against 15 people

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 21, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today State Grand Jury drug trafficking and criminal gang-related indictments of three people in Richland County on drug, gun, and money laundering offenses, and the indictments of 15 people in Lexington County on drug trafficking charges. Three of those 15 are the ones indicted in Richland County. The indictments allege that a criminal gang known as the “Paid Family” is responsible for the crimes. “The allegations in these indictments describe an armed gang that carried out a long-running conspiracy which brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars,”…

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Ten Arrested Across South Carolina as Part of Multistate Child Exploitation Crackdown

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 16, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of the following ten individuals on charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors as part of a multistate crackdown among nine Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces across the Southeast.   Anthony Carmichael (age 30), of Marion, S.C., was arrested on March 14, 2018 by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.  He is charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (§16-15-405), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment; and ten counts of sexual exploitation of a…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Achieves Reconsideration of Federal Rules that Excessively Restrict Property Owners’ Use of Land

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 16, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that, in light of a lawsuit filed by South Carolina and 19 other States, the federal government has agreed to reconsider rules adopted during the Obama administration that restrict property owners’ use of land. In 2016, federal agencies adopted two new rules that allowed the federal government to designate land as “critical habitat” for an endangered species, even if that species did not presently live on that land and even if the land failed to possess the biological features necessary for the survival of the species.  Alabama…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson and 54 attorneys general call on Congress to support victims of child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 6, 2018 — Today, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and a bipartisan group of 54 state and territorial attorneys general led by Washington and Utah called on congressional leaders to pass legislation supporting victims of child pornography. The bipartisan bill, the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2017, would make it easier for victims of child pornography to obtain restitution. A similar bill passed the U.S. Senate in 2015 but failed to pass the House of Representatives. The letter is directed to House and Judiciary Committee leaders. “Victims of child pornography…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson Announces 125 Charges Against 24 People in Major Drug Case

(MARION, S.C.)- March 5, 2018-  South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today 125 charges against 24 people in a major drug investigation across three counties in the Pee Dee. The case is known as “Gimme the Loot” and took place in Horry, Marion, and Florence counties. The defendants are charged with various offenses, including trafficking heroin, trafficking cocaine, trafficking crack, trafficking methamphetamine, trafficking marijuana, and money laundering. The investigation was led by the Attorney General’s State Grand Jury section and the State Law Enforcement Division and involved the Marion County Combined Drug Unit, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson Joins Coalition to Fight Against Unconstitutional Obamacare

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – February 26, 2018 — South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined a 20-state coalition urging a federal district court in Texas to hold the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate is unconstitutional and to enjoin the entire law. “I’ve always fought for the rule of law and the preservation of freedom and this law is clearly unconstitutional,” Attorney General Wilson said. “The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that Congress cannot force citizens to buy health insurance. I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution so I have to be part of this fight to throw…

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ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH TAKATA’S U.S. SUBSIDIARY OVER DEFECTIVE AIRBAG SYSTEMS

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – February 22, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today a settlement with TK Holdings, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Takata, over allegations that the company concealed safety issues related to its airbag systems which were installed in a wide variety of vehicles. TK Holdings, Inc. filed a bankruptcy case in chapter 11 in June 2017, and its reorganization plan has been confirmed by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The consent decree and settlement agreement have been presented to that court for approval. The settlement, reached between the attorneys general…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson and Bipartisan Coalition Urge Congress to Pass the CLOUD Act

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – February 21, 2018 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and a bipartisan group of attorneys general are asking Congress to pass a law to prevent criminals from hiding evidence on overseas computer servers. In a letter sponsored by Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, and signed by the attorneys general of 34 other States, the National Association of Attorneys General today urged Congress to pass the Clarify Lawful Overseas Use of Data (“CLOUD”) Act. The CLOUD Act would update and amend several provisions of the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”). Under the SCA,…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces South Carolinians to get $800,000 in lawsuit settlement

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – February 13, 2018 In South Carolina, 868 residents will be receiving checks as part of a lawsuit settlement, Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today. The money is going to people who used the brand-name drug Provigil or its generic equivalent modafinil from June 24, 2006 to March 31, 2012. Provigil, which includes the active ingredient modafinil, is approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to improve wakefulness in adult patients with excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, and shift work disorder. In August 2016, Attorney General Wilson and 47 other state attorneys general…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Joins Bipartisan Coalition Urging Congress to Help Protect Employees from Sexual Harassment

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – February 12, 2018 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a bipartisan coalition of 56 states and territories today urging Congress to end secret, forced arbitration in cases of workplace sexual harassment. Too often employees are required to sign employment contracts containing arbitration agreements mandating that sexual harassment claims be resolved through private arbitration instead of the judicial process. The secrecy surrounding these proceedings can protect serial violators and provide inadequate relief to victims. “Sexual harassment needs to be rooted out of our society. There is no place for sexual harassment at any time or in any…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson warns about computer malware

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – February 1, 2018 Online operators have found a new way to target South Carolina citizens by infecting visitors to so-called pirate websites. A recent study entitled “Digital Bait” established that visiting content theft sites – websites devoted to illegally distributing movies, music, books, and other copyrighted content – was a major source for infecting computers with dangerous malware that can lead to identity theft and other serious financial and privacy harms. The study showed that one in every three content theft sites exposed visitors to malware exploitable by criminals, and that almost half of the malware was…

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CVS Health Expands Safe Drug Disposal at CVS Pharmacy Locations in South Carolina to Help Combat Opioid Abuse

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – January 23, 2018 CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced today that the company has expanded its safe medication disposal program to locations inside select CVS Pharmacy locations in South Carolina to help facilitate proper and timely disposal of opioids and other medications that could be diverted or misused if left in people’s homes. Attorney General Alan Wilson, State Representative Chip Huggins and Lexington Police Chief Terrence Green attended the launch of the program at a Lexington CVS Pharmacy location. “With a presence in nearly 10,000 communities across the country, we see firsthand the impact of the alarming and…

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AG WILSON: SC RECOVERED $215,249.46 FROM FOOD STAMP FRAUD CASES IN 2017

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – January 18, 2018 Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that restitution totaling $215,249.46 has been paid back in South Carolina from food stamp fraud cases in 2017. During 2017, 60 individuals were prosecuted statewide for food stamp fraud with $209,132.67 in restitution ordered to the Department of Social Services (DSS) related to these convictions. Over the course of the year, $215,249.46 was collected in restitution either through cases in the probation system or by payments made directly to DSS related to cases prosecuted by the South Carolina Attorney General’s SNAP Fraud Unit. These results stem from the…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson, the South Carolina Trucking Association, and Truckers Against Trafficking Collaborate on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – January 11, 2018 Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise worldwide with estimates of 42 million people being exploited each year. It is also a crime that is impacting communities across the nation and our state. The South Carolina Office of the Attorney General is leading the way in counter-human-trafficking efforts through prevention education, prosecution, and the office’s support of innovative collaborations. Attorney General Alan Wilson welcomed trucking association members, trucking plaza industry representatives, and 25 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to Columbia for a Trucking Against Traffickers (TAT) coalition build. The coalition build…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces former assistant court clerk pleads guilty to embezzling public funds

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – January 9, 2018 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Ana Marin, 41, of Lexington, South Carolina, has entered a guilty plea to one count of Embezzlement of Public Funds, Value Less Than $10,000 under S.C. Code § 16-13-210(A). The Honorable Michael G. Nettles accepted the plea and sentenced Marin to five (5) years’ imprisonment, provided that upon the service of ninety (90) days, the balance is suspended with probation for five (5) years. The ninety (90) days will be served on the weekend. Marin was also ordered to pay $36,620 in restitution. If Marin is…

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South Carolina Attorney General Hosts SE Coalition Against Human Trafficking, releases 2017 Annual Report

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – January 5, 2018 The South Carolina Office of the Attorney General hosted a two-day Southeast Human Trafficking Coalition meeting composed of anti-human trafficking advocates from eight states. The coalition is facilitated by the Region IV Administration on Children and Families in Atlanta. Included in the group are state task force and coalition leaders including representatives of government agencies and non-profit organizations. “Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world and South Carolina sits right between two of the top-20 hubs for it—Atlanta and Charlotte,” says South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson. “That’s why we created…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Announces Settlement with Western Union Over Wire Fraud Scams

Columbia, S.C. – December 14, 2017 Attorney General Alan Wilson has announced a $586 million dollar settlement with Colorado-based The Western Union Company “Western Union”. The settlement resolves a multistate investigation which focused on complaints of consumers who used Western Union’s wire transfer service to send money to third parties involved in schemes to defraud consumers. The settlement, reached between the attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia and The Western Union Company “Western Union”, alleged that fraudsters were able to use Western Union’s money transfer system to get payments from their victims, even though the…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Announces Public Corruption Indictments

(COLUMBIA, SC) – December 7, 2017 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued indictments related to allegations of corruption at the Berkeley County School District [BCSD]. The first indictment was issued October 17, 2017 ; another separate indictment was issued November 15, 2017 – both were unsealed yesterday. The State Grand Jury charged Brantley D. Thomas, III, 61, [THOMAS] who was the long-time lead financial officer for BCSD. The indictments encompass fifteen (15) charges, including fourteen (14) charges for embezzlement and one (1) charge of forgery. Embezzlement charges #1 and…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Releases Opinion on Validity of Laws That Don’t Have State Seal

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – December 1, 2017 Attorney General Alan Wilson has released an opinion on whether laws are constitutional if they haven’t had the Great Seal of the State affixed to them as required. State Rep. Joshua Putnam, R-Piedmont, requested the opinion after he found that more than 100 laws enacted over the last 15 years do not have the Great Seal on them. Article III, Subsection 18 of the South Carolina Constitution says, “No Bill or Joint Resolution shall have the force of law until it shall have been read three times and on three several days in each…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson, 12-State Coalition Files Brief to Protect Unborn Children

[COLUMBIA, S.C.] — November 30, 2017 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a 12-state effort in defending the right of states to prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a crucial argument to protect the lives of unborn children. The coalition’s brief leans upon a growing scientific consensus that a fetus is capable of experiencing pain at the 20-week threshold, if not before. “The right to life is a gift from God and is first among the unalienable rights listed in the Declaration of Independence. Governments are created to protect those rights,” Attorney General Wilson said. “Each state’s citizens…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson joins letter protecting citizens’ right to self-defense

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – November 21, 2017 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is urging Congress to protect citizens’ right to self-defense by passing a law requiring every state to recognize the concealed weapon permits from all other states. “States should not be able to deny citizens of other states the basic constitutional right to self-defense,” Attorney General Wilson said. “South Carolinians who have gone through the process of getting concealed weapon permits shouldn’t have to worry about whether they can protect themselves and their families when they travel in other states.” Attorney General Wilson signed onto a letter with other…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Urges Supreme Court to Protect Prayer at Public Meetings

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — November 15, 2017 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and a coalition of 22 states are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the practice of lawmaker-led prayer at public meetings. The coalition intends to file a brief Wednesday asking the Supreme Court to hear arguments and confirm the constitutionality of the practice. Such a decision would clear confusion among the lower courts and strike down a ruling that impacts South Carolina. “Our Founding Fathers strongly supported legislative prayer by public bodies and deeply believed in Divine Guidance to support these bodies. Nothing in the Constitution prevents…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces new program to help veterans, active duty, and Reserves

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – November 9, 2017 Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today a new program to help veterans, active duty military, and members of the Reserves get free legal help. The program is called V.A.L.O.R., which stands for Veterans, Active/Reserve Legal OutReach. “The legal profession has always recognized it has a moral obligation to support those who defend the freedoms we treasure,” said Attorney General Alan Wilson, who’s also a Colonel in the SC National Guard and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. “This new program will better connect veterans and members of the military with the legal help they…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson files return on motion to appoint receiver in SCE&G case

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – November 1, 2017 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson filed a legal response today agreeing that the Court should appoint a receiver to take charge of all the money collected in the future by SCE&G related to the failed V.C. Summer Nuclear Project. The receiver would also take custody of all bank accounts that contain money already collected for the project, including any payout from the Westinghouse/Toshiba settlement. The Attorney General’s filing is in response to a lawsuit filed by LeBrian Cleckley on behalf of himself and all SCE&G customers against the power company and the state…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson: States Ask to File New, Expanded Complaint in Federal Generic Drug Antitrust Lawsuit

States allege broad, industry-wide understanding among numerous drug manufacturers to restrain competition and raise prices on 15 generic drugs; senior executives sued (Columbia, S.C.) — October 31, 2017 Attorney General Alan Wilson and 44 other state attorneys general taking part in a wide-ranging multistate antitrust investigation of the generic drug industry have asked the federal court for permission to file a new complaint in the states’ pending lawsuit that increases the number of generic drug manufacturer defendants from six to 18 in the case and the number of drugs at issue in the litigation from two to 15. For the…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson urges South Carolinians to participate in Prescription Drug Take Back Day tomorrow

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – October 27, 2017 Attorney General Alan Wilson urges South Carolinians who have prescription drugs they no longer need to properly dispose of them tomorrow during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. There will be thousands of locations nationwide where people can drop off their unused medications for proper disposal. Getting rid of unused prescription drugs helps address a serious public safety and public health issue. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study found that a majority of the people who abused prescription drugs got…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson reaches $120 million settlement with GM over defective ignition switches

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – October 20, 2017 Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today a $120 million settlement with General Motors Company (“GM”) over allegations GM concealed safety issues related to ignition-switch-related defects in GM vehicles. The settlement, reached between the attorneys general of 49 states and the District of Columbia and General Motors Company (“GM”), concludes a multistate investigation into the auto manufacturer’s failure to timely disclose known safety defects associated with unintended key- rotation-related and/or ignition-switch-related issues in several models and model years of GM vehicles. “This settlement will make all South Carolina drivers safer,” Attorney General Wilson said. “Even…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Joins Bipartisan Letter Urging Opioid Mitigation Programs

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – October 20, 2017 Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined with a bipartisan group of attorneys general from across the country in letters to 15 health care companies that provide pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services, encouraging the companies to implement programs to mitigate prescription opioid abuse. The attorneys general also sent a letter to the president and CEO of CVS Health Corporation applauding the company’s recent program that automatically enrolled all commercial, health plan, employer and Medicaid clients in an opioid abuse mitigation program. “The opioid epidemic involves everyone from patients to doctors to pharmaceutical companies to pharmacies…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson, 13 States Urge Senate to Rein In Unelected Bureaucracy

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — October 12, 2017 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a coalition of 13 state attorneys general in urging Congress to curb the authority of federal agencies to create and enforce regulations. The attorneys general wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging the Senate to pass a bill that would amend the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), a statute which sets forth the requirements for lawful executive agency action. “Regulation by unelected bureaucrats cannot replace legislation by the people’s elected representatives,” Attorney General Wilson said. The letter states that the Obama-era executive overreach demonstrates that existing congressional,…

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SC Victims’ Services Groups Awarded More Than $38 Million in Grants

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – October 11, 2017 Groups that help crime victims across South Carolina are getting more than $38 million in federal and state grants. The Public Safety Coordinating Council formally approved the grants in September and the money started going out October 1st. The grants are distributed by the South Carolina Crime Victim Services Division, which was added to the Attorney General’s Office by state law earlier this year. It had been a part of the Department of Public Safety. There are three different types of grants: Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants; Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grants;…

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Silent Witness Ceremony Honored 2016 Victims of Fatal Domestic Violence

(Columbia, SC) – October 3, 2017 Attorney General Alan Wilson led participants through the 20th annual Silent Witness Domestic Violence ceremony that was held today on the south steps of the State House in Columbia. During the solemn ceremony, Attorney General Wilson called the names of 34 women and five men from across the state who lost their lives as the result of domestic violence in the previous year. Victims’ family members, friends, or volunteers carried a life-sized silhouette representing the victim to the State House steps as a bell was rung for each victim. An additional 40th silhouette represented…

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39 Attorneys General Call on Congress to Change Federal Law to Make Drug Treatment More Affordable and Accessible

(Columbia, S.C.) – October 2, 2017 Today, Attorney General Alan Wilson, with a bipartisan coalition of 39 Attorneys General and the National Association of Attorneys General, called on Congress to pass legislation that changes federal law to make treatment for drug addiction more affordable and accessible for Americans who most need it. HR 2938 is the “Road to Recovery” Act. Led by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the coalition of Attorneys General sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, describing the national epidemic of heroin and opioid abuse and overdose deaths, and…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson, 25-State Coalition Support Abolition of Job-Killing Waters Rule

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — September 28, 2017 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a 25-state coalition in support of permanently rescinding language used in the 2015 Waters of the United States rule. The coalition filed its letter Wednesday as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s ongoing review of the WOTUS rule. It encourages the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to preserve the states’ role in protecting water resources by fully eliminating the Obama-era rule and enforcing pre-existing rules until more concise language can be adopted. “This rule is nothing but an unconstitutional federal land grab that will hurt businesses…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson, 7 States Support Laws Banning Sanctuary Cities

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — September 20, 2017 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a multistate coalition in supporting the right of individual states to prohibit sanctuary cities within their borders. Sanctuary jurisdictions — cities and localities that prohibit or otherwise obstruct cooperation between federal and local officials on immigration enforcement — defy the rule of law and deprive law enforcement of the tools necessary for effective civil and criminal enforcement. “I swore an oath to uphold the law when I took office and sanctuary cities scoff at the rule of law,” Attorney General Wilson said. Prohibiting sanctuary cities helps uphold…

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Attorney General Seeks Documents from Opioid Distributors

[COLUMBIA, S.C.] – September 19, 2017 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general seeks documents and information from distributors of prescription opioids as part of a multistate investigation into the nationwide opioid epidemic. This information will enable the attorneys general to evaluate whether distributors engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing, sale, and distribution of opioids. There are 41 attorneys general participating in the multistate investigations. Nationwide and in South Carolina, opioids—prescription and illicit—are the main driver of drug overdose deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were involved in…

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SC Attorney General Wilson asks Equifax to disable fee-based monitoring, reimburse fees after breach

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — September 18, 2017 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a bipartisan group of attorneys general from 33 other states and the District of Columbia in urging credit reporting firm Equifax to stop pushing its own fee-based credit monitoring service after the massive data breach affecting 143 million people. In a letter to the company, they’re asking Equifax to disable links for enrollment in its fee-based monitoring. They’re also asking Equifax to reimburse consumers who incur fees to freeze their credit. The states launched an investigation as soon as Equifax publicly disclosed the breach September 7th. “We…

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Attorney General Wilson releases PSA on price gouging

September 8, 2017

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Announces Price-Gouging Law in Effect

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – September 6, 2017 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the state’s law against price gouging is now in effect, since Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency.   “With the possibility that Hurricane Irma could make landfall in South Carolina, our people have already started making preparations. We can expect normal price increases, but we may see businesses and individuals looking to unfairly take advantage of the situation through price gouging of food, gasoline, lodging, and other commodities as defined by the statute. By our law, that’s a criminal violation and an unfair…

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SC Attorney General joins Texas, other states, in dropping DACA lawsuit

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – September 5, 2017 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson applauded President Trump’s announcement today to uphold the Constitution and give Congress time to decide how best to handle so-called “Dreamers,” children and teens who were brought into this country illegally by their parents.   “This is a victory for the rule of law and the Constitution,” Wilson said. “The Constitution gives the power to pass laws to Congress, not the president. Now Congress can consider how best to address this issue.”   President Trump announced that he’s rescinding DACA—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—but is giving Congress six…

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Solicitor General Bob Cook honored for 40 years of service, awarded Order of the Palmetto

  August 31, 2017 South Carolina Solicitor General Bob Cook was honored Thursday with a surprise recognition to celebrate his 40 years of service to the state. Gov. Henry McMaster, a former attorney general who worked with him, awarded him The Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor the state can bestow. Four of the five attorneys general with whom he worked attended: Alan Wilson, Henry McMaster, Charlie Condon, and Travis Medlock. The Solicitor General heads the Opinions Section. By statute, the Governor, members of the General Assembly, and other public officials are entitled to legal advice from the Attorney…

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Attorneys General Ask Congress to Amend Sex Trafficking Law

(COLUMBIA, SC) – August 16, 2017  Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined 49 other state and territorial attorneys general in a bi-partisan coalition urging Congress to affirm that all law-enforcement agencies retain their traditional authority to fight sex trafficking. In a letter to Congress, the attorneys general ask representatives to amend the Communications Decency Act (CDA) to clarify that states, localities and territories retain authority to investigate and prosecute facilitators of child sex trafficking wherever they operate, including online. The simple word addition to the CDA proposed in this letter will help to ensure that citizens and children are effectively…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Sues Largest Opioid Manufacturer In Historic Lawsuit

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – August 15, 2017 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson filed a historic lawsuit today against Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin and other opioid drugs. The suit was filed in the Richland County Court of Common Pleas and alleges that Purdue unfairly and deceptively marketed opioids, which helped create and fuel South Carolina’s opioid epidemic. Opioids are prescription narcotics possessing properties similar to opium and heroin. While opioids can dampen pain, they also “can create an addictive euphoric high,” the complaint alleges. The lawsuit says Purdue violated South Carolina’s Unfair Trade Practices Act, failed to comply with…

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Attorney General asks SC Supreme Court to rehear case on domestic violence protection

(COLUMBIA, S.C) – August 8, 2017 South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today filed for a rehearing with the state Supreme Court on its recent ruling in a case that removed domestic violence protections for couples who live together or did in the past.   The case, Jane Doe v. State, was brought by a woman who sued on equal protection grounds because the state’s domestic violence law does not include protection for same-sex couples. The Court agreed with her but threw out the entire section of the law, meaning same-sex and opposite-sex couples who live together, or did in…

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SC Files $100 Million Lawsuit Against U.S.

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – August 8, 2017 The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit Monday against the federal government to recover $100 million the U.S. Department of Energy owes the state for failing to meet its promise to remove one ton of plutonium from the Savannah River Site this year.   A case of such magnitude has never been filed by South Carolina against the federal government.   Congress mandated that the U.S. Department of Energy would pay South Carolina $1 million per day, beginning January 1, 2016, for every day the department failed to remove from the state…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Alerts Consumers to Deceptive Tobacco Settlement Promotion

(Columbia, S.C.) – June 15, 2017 Today, Attorney General Alan Wilson alerted the public to an online promotion that misleads consumers to believe they can receive tobacco settlement money. The online promotion claims individuals can sign up to claim thousands of dollars per month from the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. The advertisement promises that individuals may receive a tax-free portion of the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement and that this money is guaranteed by the government. In reality, this advertisement entices citizens to enter a credit card number for a monthly subscription in order to learn about purchasing tobacco revenue bonds….

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Joins 39 State Attorneys General in Federal Generic Drug Antitrust Lawsuit

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 1, 2017 Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that South Carolina has joined a federal antitrust lawsuit alleging that six generic drug-makers entered into illegal conspiracies in order to unreasonably restrain trade, artificially inflate and manipulate prices and reduce competition in the United States for two generic drugs. An amended complaint filed with the federal court increases the number of plaintiff states in the lawsuit from 20 to 40, which was initially filed in December 2016. The amended complaint also adds claims of alleged violations of state antitrust laws – in addition to the alleged violations…

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Human Trafficking Task Force to meet on March 3, 2017

P U B L I C   N O T I C E Pursuant to S.C. Code § 30-4-80, “The Freedom of Information Act,” notice is hereby given of the following meeting of the Human Trafficking Task Force called by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson: Human Trafficking Task Force Meeting March 3, 2017 10 a.m. – noon City of West Columbia Municipal Complex 200 N. 12th Street West Columbia, S.C. 29169 AGENDA: The task force will meet to discuss updates, upcoming projects, trainings and events regarding human trafficking in South Carolina. Guest speaker will be Kayce Singletary, Community Education Director…

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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),…

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Safer Internet Day 2017

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 is Safer Internet Day. Be smart online, and together we can create a better, safer Internet. For more information, visit www.saferinternetday.us.   Safer Internet Day 2017 from Alan Wilson on Vimeo.

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AG Wilson Joins 20-state Coalition Asking Senate to Confirm Judge Gorsuch

  News Release  Attorney General Wilson Joins 20-State Coalition Urging Senate Confirmation of Judge Gorsuch to Supreme Court   (COLUMBIA, S.C.) – February 1, 2017  South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined a 20-state coalition in urging Senate leaders to confirm the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. The coalition expressed its support in a Wednesday afternoon letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Patrick Leahy. The letter urges the Senate, including Sen. Tim Scott and Sen. Lindsey Graham, to confirm…

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Summer 2017 Internship Program

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office offers an internship program for students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited academic institution. Interns will have an opportunity to gain hands-on knowledge of the Office while conducting research, providing administrative support, and attending court hearings, depositions, or trials as schedules permit. Interns must work  at least 15 hours but no more than 25 hours per week. Law students seeking internship opportunities should apply through the Law Clerk Program. Application Process: The Office will accept applications from February 1, 2017, until 5:00 pm on February 28, 2017. No applications will be…

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Welcome to the on-line office for Attorney General Alan Wilson. Please visit the Contact Us page to stay in touch.

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Columbia, SC

Rembert Dennis Building | 1000 Assembly Street,

Room 519 | Columbia, S.C. 29201

Phone: 1-803-734-3970 | Fax: (803) 253-6283

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