LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal grand juries in Los Angeles have indicted 22 people on charges of defrauding the Social Security Administration.

The U.S. attorney’s office says the defendants are accused of illegally receiving cash benefits and causing a cumulative loss of $2.6 million.

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The indictments were returned last week and announced Monday after the arrest of one defendant who is an employee of the Social Security Administration.

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Most of the alleged schemes involved taking Social Security benefits intended for a family member who had passed away.

U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker says the series of cases demonstrates a commitment to root out abuse and to protect a program that helps senior citizens and the most vulnerable members of society.

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