Doctor convicted in hep c outbreak to undergo evaluation - 8 News NOW

Doctor convicted in hep c outbreak to undergo evaluation

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LAS VEGAS -- A former Nevada doctor at the center of a 2007 hepatitis C outbreak has been ordered into federal custody for a mental evaluation.

U.S. Senior District Judge Larry Hicks signed the order last week to determine if Dipak Desai is mentally competent to accept a plea deal on federal health care fraud charges.

Desai's lawyers and federal prosecutors signed a stipulation agreeing that the evaluation is appropriate.

The doctor's mental health has long been in question because of a series of strokes he suffered. However, he was found fit to stand trial in September 2011.

Desai, who surrendered his medical license, was convicted last year of 27 criminal counts, including second degree murder, in state court related to the outbreak. He was sentenced to life in prison with possible parole after 18 years.

At least nine people were found to have contracted hepatitis C through endoscopy clinics owned by Desai and hundreds more were exposed to the disease.

Trial is scheduled in August if no agreement is reached.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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