Federal Magistrate Judge Mildred Methvin shot down arguments by cardiologist Mehmood Patel who was seeking to have much of the evidence in his health-care fraud case thrown out. U.S. District Judge Tucker Melancon will have final say on the matter.
Patel, who goes on trial in August on 93 counts of health-care fraud, is accused of billing Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers for more than $2 million in unnecessary heart procedures. He has pleaded innocent.
The cardiologist argued that much of the case should be thrown out because it began with what amounted to a warrantless search by a nurse who went through the doctor’s records at the behest of federal investigators. Methvin agreed with Patel’s attorneys that federal agents had likely asked or suggested that the nurse obtain medical records from the doctor’s practice but says the search did not violate Patel’s rights because he had no reasonable expectation of privacy in regard to the records, which were in a leased mobile laboratory and readily accessible to other workers.
The investigation of Patel began in March 2002 after nurse Neal Kinn filed a complaint with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.