The Advocate reported Tuesday that federal prosecutors want Dr. Mehmood Patel in jail while he continues his appeals process. The former cardiologist has been free for more than three years since his conviction on 51 of 91 counts of health care fraud. In late 2008 a jury found that between February 2001 and January 2004, he defrauded Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers by seeking reimbursement for “medically unnecessary” procedures. Prosecutors said he fraudulently billed the government and private insurers more than $2 million.

Last week the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction and 10-year sentence.

An attorney for Patel told The Advocate Monday that Patel will seek to remain free pending further appeals.

Patel was sentenced in June 2009, but the 5th Circuit, in a decision that overturned a local federal judge, allowed Patel to remain free pending the appeal, according to The Advocate.
“Unlike most individuals convicted of federal crimes, Patel has enjoyed the benefit of remaining at liberty for years while his appeal was pending,” federal prosecutors wrote in court filings Thursday.

The prosecutors wrote the recent denial of the Patel’s appeal “demonstrates that there is no longer a reason to treat him differently from other convicted felons.”

Patel plans to ask the 5th Circuit for a rehearing and will oppose the prosecutor’s request that he begin serving his sentence at this time, said his attorney, Amy Adelson.
Read The Advocate story here.

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