COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s top prosecutor has set up a special unit to go after people accused of abusing the state’s food stamp program.

Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office says it is the first of its kind to be operational in the United States.

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At the beginning of this year, Wilson’s office began dedicating a prosecutor solely to the prosecution of fraud within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

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The Republican prosecutor says some recipients of the federally funded benefits are improperly using the benefits cards like ATM cards, giving them to vendors in return for cash payouts instead of using them to buy approved food items.

Wilson’s office says several cases are already pending, and several dozen more are under investigation.

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