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Army probing hundreds in recruiting fraud scheme

WASHINGTON (AP) - Hundreds of soldiers and civilians are under criminal investigation for allegedly using a National Guard recruiting program to secure fraudulent payments and kickbacks. Military officials say the scheme has cost the government at least $29 million and possibly tens of millions more.

Two Army generals revealed details of the probe Tuesday to a Senate subcommittee. The program offered $2,000 to $7,500 per recruit for referrals during a crucial time in the Iraq war. The Senate panel was told that as many as 200 officers, including two generals, are suspected of participating in fraud schemes.

The fraud is believed to be widespread: Investigators are looking at 1,200 people in and out of the military.

Officials say they may not complete their investigation until 2016 because of the number of potential cases.