UPDATE: Ex-Vegas MD Dipak Desai Guilty Of Murder In Wide Hepatitis C Outbreak Sentenced To Life In Prison

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Normal UPDATE: Ex-Vegas MD Dipak Desai Guilty Of Murder In Wide Hepatitis C Outbreak Sentenced To Life In Prison

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:33 pm

July 2, 2013
 
Prominent former Las Vegas doctor and endoscopy clinic owner Dipak Desai was convicted Monday of all 27 criminal charges against him -- including second-degree murder -- in a 2007 hepatitis C outbreak that officials called one of the largest ever in the U.S.
A former employee at Dipak Desai's Endoscopy Clinic of Southern Nevada, nurse-anesthetist Ronald Lakeman, was found guilty of 16 of 27 charges against him but was spared a murder conviction stemming from the death of 77-year-old Rodolfo Meana in April 2012.

Defense attorneys for both men said they'll appeal.

Desai, a former Nevada state medical board member, surrendered his medical license, declared bankruptcy and turned over his business affairs to family members and lawyers in recent years. He stared straight ahead as the jury's verdicts were read.
His lawyers maintained that he was unfit for trial because of the effects of several strokes in recent years.

Desai's wife, Kusam, sobbed quietly and one of their adult daughters cried out as Desai and Lakeman were handcuffed and led from the courtroom to jail to await sentencing Sept. 5.

"We love you, Daddy," she said to Desai. "God is with you. Always with you."
Desai didn't appear to respond.

Desai, 63, and Lakeman, 66, face the possibility of life in prison for their multiple felony convictions.

At one point, reports CBS Las Vegas affiliate KLAS-TV, jurors reported they were deadlocked on one count against one of the defendants. But Judge Valerie Adair urged them to keep at it, and they did arrive at a verdict on that count.

Jurors heard more than 70 witnesses during seven weeks of testimony about a case that shocked the community when the outbreak became public in February 2008. Health officials issued advisories that led 63,000 clinic patients to get tested for potentially fatal blood-borne diseases, including hepatitis and HIV.

Investigators blamed unsafe injection practices and traced the infections of nine people to Desai clinics, although local and federal health investigators said they thought the hepatitis C infections of another 105 patients might have been related to similar practices. In those cases, however, they said they couldn't rule out other sources of infection.

The charges in Clark County District Court resulted from the infection of seven patients and bills paid by their insurers.

Prosecutors alleged that Desai and Lakeman recklessly and negligently put patients at risk with the reuse of syringes and vials of the general anesthetic propofol during procedures at a clinic where speed was emphasized over patient safety.

Health investigators testified that they believed vials became contaminated with hepatitis C virus from two different "source" patients on two dates in 2007, and that tainted anesthetic was injected into subsequent patients on those dates.

In addition to the murder charge, Desai was found guilty of seven counts of criminal neglect of patients resulting in substantial bodily harm, seven counts of reckless disregard of persons resulting in substantial bodily harm, nine counts of insurance fraud, two counts of obtaining money under false pretenses and one felony theft charge.

Lakeman was found guilty of 16 charges including insurance fraud, criminal neglect, reckless disregard, obtaining money under false pretenses and theft. He was acquitted of 11 counts.

"I'm elated that he didn't get convicted on the murder charge," Lakeman's lawyer, Frederick Santacroce, said outside court. "I'm disappointed that he was convicted of the other charges."

Desai attorneys Richard Wright and Margaret Stanish, and prosecutors Michael Staudaher and Pamela Weckerly, declined immediate comment.

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated Friday and most of the day Monday before reaching their verdict.

Another former Desai clinic nurse anesthetist, Keith Mathahs, 77, pleaded guilty in December to five felonies, including criminal neglect of patients resulting in death, insurance fraud and racketeering. He testified against Desai and Lakeman and could get probation or up to six years in state prison when he is sentenced.

The state criminal case is separate from a case pending against Desai and a former clinic business manager, Tonya Rushing, in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.

Desai and Rushing have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and health care fraud charges alleging they schemed to inflate anesthesia times and overbill health insurance companies. Trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 20.

The hepatitis outbreak also spawned dozens of civil lawsuits, including several that yielded jury findings holding drug manufacturers and the state's largest health management organization liable for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to plaintiffs.

 http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57591914/ex-vegas-md-guilty-of-murder-in-wide-hepatitis-c-outbreak/


Last edited by NiteSpinR on Sat May 03, 2014 11:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Ex-Vegas MD Dipak Desai Guilty Of Murder In Wide Hepatitis C Outbreak Sentenced To Life In Prison

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:53 am

Thank you for posting this, Nite.

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Normal UPDATE: Dipak Desai Gets Life In Prison In Hep C Outbreak Case

Post by NiteSpinR on Sat May 03, 2014 11:13 pm

Jan 02, 2014

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
The former Las Vegas physician who was convicted in connection to the largest hepatitis C outbreak in U.S. history was sentenced to life in prison Thursday.

A judge handed down the sentence for Dipak Desai, who was found guilty in July on counts of second-degree murder, patient neglect and theft. In all, a jury convicted him on 27 counts.

Desai's sentence included the possibility of parole after 18 years served.

Desai's assistant Ronald Lakeman was also sentenced in the case. He was ordered to serve eight years but no more than 21 years in prison.

Desai was the owner of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, where more than 100 patients were infected in 2007 and 2008.

Of those patients, 77-year-old Rodolfo Meana died as a result of the disease, which, court documents say, were genetically linked to Desai's practice.

During a trial, prosecutors claimed Desai and Lakeman rescued vials and other medical equipment.

A jury found Lakeman guilty of 16 counts but not guilty of murder.

Desai refused to address the court when he was asked to comment before his sentencing. Desai's attorneys made a final effort to get a lenient sentence for his client, saying the former doctor is a "caring and religious man" and the outbreak was not anticipated.

Judge Valerie Adair, though, called Desai a complex person and observed an "abundance of disregard" for patients.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Ex-Vegas MD Dipak Desai Guilty Of Murder In Wide Hepatitis C Outbreak Sentenced To Life In Prison

Post by Wrapitup on Sun May 04, 2014 6:35 pm

This IMHO is as bad as Knowingly infecting someone with HIV.

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