Nearly 100 cases of food stamp fraud uncovered in the past year could result in more than $300,000 being returned to the state, state officials said Friday.
S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson said that restitution totaling $337,392 has been ordered in 99 cases involving abuse of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Since the launch of an operation a year ago targeting food stamp fraud, 99 defendants have pleaded guilty, Wilson said. Fraudulent acquisition or use of food stamps is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $500.
Of the $337,392 ordered to be returned to the state in 2015, more than $19,663 has been paid so far, Wilson said.
Some 855,000 South Carolinians receive food stamps, and the majority of the recipients use the program as intended, Wilson said. But those who abuse it divert funds from families who rely on the program, he said.
If you know or suspect someone who is committing food stamp fraud, you may report it by calling 1-800-616-1309.