AIKEN, S.C. (AP) – A federal grand jury has indicted 22 people from a so-called Irish traveler community in western South Carolina on numerous counts ranging from food stamp and tax fraud to money laundering and insurance fraud.
Acting South Carolina U.S. Attorney Beth Drake says the 48-count racketeering indictment was returned on Tuesday.
The indictment says the defendants are residents of the Murphy Village community near North Augusta. It says travelers are itinerant laborers and salesmen who go door to door and speak a dialect of English and Gaelic called “Cant,” in addition to American English.
The indictment says those charged are either travelers or their associates.
The government says the defendants committed fraud to obtain things like life insurance benefits, food stamps, Medicaid funds and automobile financing.