The Latest: Sentencing begins for doc tied to US Senator - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

The Latest: Sentencing begins for doc tied to US Senator

(Lannis Water/Palm Beach Post via AP, File). FILE- In this April 28, 2017 file photo, Dr. Salomon Melgen arrives at the federal courthouse in West Palm Beach, Fla. Prosecutors say Melgen, a prominent Florida eye doctor who was accused of bribing New Je... (Lannis Water/Palm Beach Post via AP, File). FILE- In this April 28, 2017 file photo, Dr. Salomon Melgen arrives at the federal courthouse in West Palm Beach, Fla. Prosecutors say Melgen, a prominent Florida eye doctor who was accused of bribing New Je...

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The Latest on the sentencing hearing for a prominent Florida eye doctor accused of bribing U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

Former patients critical of a prominent Florida eye doctor convicted of Medicare fraud told a judge that they were subjected to painful and unnecessary treatments that left them with little or no eyesight.

Anna Borgia told U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra during a sentencing hearing Tuesday that Dr. Salomon Melgen gave her painful injections and laser treatments for diabetes-related sight loss and glaucoma, and then botched a surgery that has left her almost totally blind. She said she prays Melgen gets a life sentence.

Randy Frick had his attorney read a letter accusing Melgen of "torturing" his 90-year-old mother with injections that another doctor later told him were unnecessary.

Others, however, spoke on Melgen's behalf, telling Marra that Melgen is a good and caring doctor who restored or maintained their sight. Nestor Garcia said Melgen partially restored his sight after three other doctors told him it was hopeless, treating him for free after his insurance company refused to pay.

Melgen is facing a possible life sentence after being convicted of stealing more than $100 million from the federal government. Separately, he is charged with bribing New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez. 

Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year sentence. Melgen's attorneys want a sentence of less than 10 years

__

11:15 a.m.

Attorneys for a prominent Florida eye doctor convicted of Medicare fraud called numerous patients and former employees to speak about his character in hopes of getting a reduced sentence.

They told U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra on Tuesday that Dr. Salomon Melgen is a caring physician who often treated patients for free. 

Melgen is facing a possible life sentence after being convicted of stealing more than $100 million from the federal government. Separately, he is charged with bribing New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez. 

Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year sentence. Melgen's attorneys want a sentence of less than 10 years. 

5:02 a.m.

Attorneys for a prominent Florida eye doctor who became the nation's highest paid Medicare provider say he should get 10 years or less for fraud. Prosecutors say Dr. Saloman Melgen deserves 30 years, arguing that he stole more than $100 million from federal taxpayers.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra could put the 63-year-old doctor in prison for life.

The sentencing of Melgen is scheduled to begin Tuesday in West Palm Beach and could take three days. He was convicted on 67 counts in April.

Melgen also remains accused of bribing Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez. A federal jury in New Jersey failed to reach a verdict against the two men, and prosecutors haven't said whether they'll retry that case.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Residents flee as flames approach wealthy California enclave

    Residents flee as flames approach wealthy California enclave

    Saturday, December 16 2017 12:35 AM EST2017-12-16 05:35:56 GMT
    Saturday, December 16 2017 11:11 PM EST2017-12-17 04:11:11 GMT
    The fourth-largest wildfire in California history continues to grow and threaten thousands of homes despite armies of fire crews and fleets of bulldozers and aircraft.
    The fourth-largest wildfire in California history continues to grow and threaten thousands of homes despite armies of fire crews and fleets of bulldozers and aircraft.
  • Tribes oppose planned bioterror tests near Oklahoma graves

    Tribes oppose planned bioterror tests near Oklahoma graves

    Saturday, December 16 2017 10:56 AM EST2017-12-16 15:56:14 GMT
    Saturday, December 16 2017 11:11 PM EST2017-12-17 04:11:01 GMT
    Five Native American tribes that own an Oklahoma site where the U.S. Department of Homeland Security intends to conduct bioterrorism drills next year now oppose the government's plan.
    Five Native American tribes that own an Oklahoma site where the U.S. Department of Homeland Security intends to conduct bioterrorism drills next year now oppose the government's plan.
  • Ex-wife of Lorenzen Wright charged with murder in 2010 death

    Ex-wife of Lorenzen Wright charged with murder in 2010 death

    Saturday, December 16 2017 10:36 AM EST2017-12-16 15:36:02 GMT
    Saturday, December 16 2017 11:10 PM EST2017-12-17 04:10:55 GMT
    Authorities say the ex-wife of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright has been charged with first-degree murder in his death more than seven years ago.
    Authorities say the ex-wife of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright has been charged with first-degree murder in his death more than seven years ago.
Powered by Frankly