Former state official arrested

COLUMBIA — The former finance director for the South Carolina Department of Social Services was arrested today and charged with embezzling millions from the state agency, federal prosecutors said.

Paul Timothy Moore, 61, was charged with theft of federal program funds, mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy for his role in an alleged scheme to embezzle $5.5 million from the agency, according to U.S. Attorney Walt Wilkins.

Between May 2004 and October of last year, investigators say, Mr. Moore authorized more than 750 checks for thousands of dollars each to be cut from Social Services accounts. The checks were made payable to a list of individuals who agreed to cash the checks and split the proceeds, Mr. Wilkins said.

The man authorities say gave Mr. Moore the list, Jonathan Moses, has also been charged with conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud, according to court records.

Mr. Wilkins identified eight others who have also been charged with conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud, and arrest warrants are pending, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin McDonald said.

If convicted on all counts, Mr. Moore faces up to 60 years in prison and $1 million in fines.

Mr. Wilkins said other arrests are expected.

"Clearly many other people appear to be involved," he said. "I would also strongly encourage anyone who is involved to come forward; it would certainly be in their best interest."

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