- Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The attorney general’s office says 70 people were convicted of food stamp fraud in South Carolina last year and ordered to repay nearly $273,600.

Attorney General Alan Wilson announced Monday the convictions stem from his office’s partnership with the Department of Social Services to investigate and prosecute abuse of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps.

As of Dec. 31, about $150,750 of ordered repayments had been collected.

Wilson says the program shows food stamp fraud “is absolutely a problem” and steals from the needy.

But the fraud represents a tiny fraction of benefits.

According to DSS data, $90.8 million was distributed in December alone to more than 346,000 homes in South Carolina, representing about 739,400 people. Nearly $1.2 billion total was provided in fiscal year 2015-16.

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