WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of people have been charged with the theft of more than $830 million in COVID-19 emergency aid following a nationwide operation conducted by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday.

The May-through-July operation underscores how pervasive the fraud was and the time it takes for law enforcement officials to hunt down, charge and convict people who stole money during a national emergency.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that his department’s work to find and prosecute people who stole pandemic relief funds is far from over.

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