(A) In addition to the penalties provided for in this chapter, a person who is convicted of, pleads guilty to, or enters into a plea of nolo contendere to financial identity fraud or identity fraud involving the false, fictitious, or fraudulent creation or use of documents that enable an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States to live or work in the United States, or to receive benefits administered by an agency or political subdivision of this State, must disgorge any benefit received or make restitution to the agency or political subdivision that administered the benefit or entitlement program, or both. A criminal charge pursuant to this chapter shall not preempt or preclude additional appropriate civil or criminal charges or penalties.

(B) A person who suffers an ascertainable loss of money or property, real or personal, as a result of a conviction or plea to a violation of financial identity fraud or identity fraud involving a matter described in subsection (A), may bring an action individually, or in a representative capacity, to recover actual damages against any person convicted of the violation. If a court finds that a violation has been established, the court shall award three times the actual damages sustained and may provide such other relief as it considers necessary or proper. Upon the finding by the court of a violation, the court shall award to the person bringing this action pursuant to this section reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 16-13-525

  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Entitlement: A Federal program or provision of law that requires payments to any person or unit of government that meets the eligibility criteria established by law. Entitlements constitute a binding obligation on the part of the Federal Government, and eligible recipients have legal recourse if the obligation is not fulfilled. Social Security and veterans' compensation and pensions are examples of entitlement programs.
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • Nolo contendere: No contest-has the same effect as a plea of guilty, as far as the criminal sentence is concerned, but may not be considered as an admission of guilt for any other purpose.
  • Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
  • Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.

(C) A person convicted of a violation of this subsection is jointly and severally liable for a loss suffered by a person or an agency or political subdivision of the State.

(D)(1) It is unlawful for a person to display, cause or permit to be displayed, or have in his possession a false, fictitious, fraudulent, or counterfeit identity document including, but not limited to, a driver’s license or social security card for the purpose of offering proof of United States citizenship or classification by the United States as an alien lawfully admitted for temporary or permanent residence under federal immigration law.

(2) A person who violates the provisions of this section:

(a) for a first offense, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days; and

(b) for a second offense or subsequent offenses, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than five years.

(E) A violation of the provisions of this section is considered a separate criminal offense and does not preclude prosecution for perjury pursuant to § 16-9-10 in addition to prosecution pursuant to the provisions of this section.

(F) In enforcing the terms of this section, no state officer shall attempt to make an independent judgment of an alien’s immigration status. State officials must verify any alien’s status with the federal government in accordance with 8 USC Section 1373(c).