Source AP ©

Doctor and a psychologist indicted in Norway's largest welfare swindle

A doctor and a psychologist have been indicted in Norway's largest welfare swindle, accused of helping patients cash in 150 million kroner (US$25 million, €18.7 million) in fraudulent benefits.

The two defendants, who were not identified by name, allegedly accepted payments from patients in return for providing them with false medical certificates that could be used to collect government and insurance benefits.

The national economic crime police said the two were indicted on charges including "contributing to gross welfare fraud and falsification of documents worth a total of 150 million kroner (US$25 million, €18.7 million). In addition, the doctor is indicted for contributing to gross insurance fraud."

The police said the male doctor and female psychiatrist often cooperated, and allegedly made up or exaggerated patient diagnoses, using details from cases outlined in medical journals.

According to the police statement, the fraud allegedly began in the mid-1980s, and lasted until the doctor's medical license was revoked in 2001, and the national welfare agency filed a complaint against the two.

The two suspects could face up to nine years in prison if convicted, said Elisabeth Roscher of the police economic crime unit. No trial date has been set.

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