Dr. Desai Indicted in Hepatitis C Case - 8 News NOW

Dr. Desai Indicted in Hepatitis C Case

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Dipak Desai's mug shot on June 4, 2010. Dipak Desai's mug shot on June 4, 2010.

LAS VEGAS -- Dr. Dipak Desai, the man at the center of the valley's hepatitis C scare, was indicted Friday on 28 felony charges including racketeering, negligence and insurance fraud. The doctor could now spend the rest of his life in prison.

The 60-year-old physician who refused to face the camera is accused of turning his back on the patients he was supposed to heal.

"He created health problems. We have alleged that he has committed crimes, and we believe he should be held accountable," said District Attorney David Roger.

Desai ran the endoscopy clinics where seven patients became infected with hepatitis C because of unsafe injection practices in 2008. Ronald Lakeman and Keith Mathahs, two of Desai's former anesthetists, were also indicted.

The Endoscopy Clinic of Southern Nevada is accused of using dangerous and potentially deadly injection practices by reusing endoscopy scopes and vials of an anesthetic. Attorney Ed Bernstein represents the first genetically-linked infected patient.

"It's going to be proven to be a case of greed, and no other issues, and if so, he deserves to go to prison. These people are living a lifetime with illnesses as a result of his greed," said Bernstein, attorney.

Another attorney suing Desai and the drug manufacturer sees some problems with the indictment.

Prosecutors had hoped to have Desai locked up without bail, but the judge allowed the physician to remain on house arrest over the weekend, and to post a $1 million bond on Monday.


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