SAN FRANCISCO — Using a relatively obscure statute, federal prosecutors have indicted the woman at the heart of the San Francisco crime lab scandal.

The indictment comes nearly a year after the state declined to prosecute Deborah Madden, the former technician who allegedly skimmed drugs from evidence samples. The scandal prompted the dismissal of hundreds of Superior Court cases. But before this week, Madden’s only criminal trouble was a drug possession charge in San Mateo County Superior Court.

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