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Chicago doctors, pharmacists charged with medicaid fraud

Sixteen doctors and 10 pharmacists allegedly operating a medicaid fraud scheme that bilked the state out of $19.5 million were charged under a 149-count federal indictment returned Wednesday with defrauding the Department of Public Aid by distributing illegal drugs. The scheme allegedly went on for nearly four years at 22 pharmacies and clinics set up in the Chicago area.

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The operation ''is the largest medicaid fraud scheme ever uncovered in Chicago and possibly in the nation,'' said US Attorney Dan Webb.