Attorney General Says 70 Convicted of Food Stamp Fraud in 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)- According to the Attorney General’s Office, over 855,000 South Carolina residents receive SNAP benefits.

In 2015, Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office partnered with the Department of Social Services (DSS)  to launch a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) criminal prosecution unit. Wilson’s office says in 2016, over $270,00 were recovered from fraud cases. He says those who abuse the snap system are victimizing innocent people.

“72% of all SNAP recipients- people who receive the food stamp type of support- are either senior citizens or minor children,” said Wilson. “When someone goes and defrauds that system, they are doing two things: they are defrauding the taxpayer who funds that system and they are also taking those resources and benefits away from the people who need them the most.”

The money was collected in reimbursements through the probation system or direct payments to DSS. In a statement, the department says, “DSS is committed to preventing, detecting, and prosecuting benefit misuse and fraud within our state.”

The Department of Social Services says most of its fraud investigations are connected to a tip so if you see something, you are encouraged to say something. To report a case of benefit fraud or misuse, call  1-800-616-1309.

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