Howard Awand Indicted in 'Medical Mafia' Conspiracy Case - 8 News NOW

George Knapp, Investigative Reporter

Howard Awand Indicted in 'Medical Mafia' Conspiracy Case

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Acting U.S. Attorney Steve Myhre, who is personally prosecuting the case, declined to say much beyond what's in the indictment. Acting U.S. Attorney Steve Myhre, who is personally prosecuting the case, declined to say much beyond what's in the indictment.
The indictment unsealed Friday afternoon names one person, Howard Awand---but the FBI and U.S. Attorneys office haven't spent more than three years just to nail Awand. This is just the first step. The indictment unsealed Friday afternoon names one person, Howard Awand---but the FBI and U.S. Attorneys office haven't spent more than three years just to nail Awand. This is just the first step.

A businessman described as the hub of a group known as the "Medical Mafia" was indicted by federal authorities Friday on multiple charges, and more are expected.

The U.S. Attorneys office won't confirm that more indictments are on the way but the Channel 8 I-Team has learned that some big names could be dropped soon.

The indictment names one person, Howard Awand, but the FBI and U.S. Attorneys office haven't spent more than three years just to nail Awand. This is just the first step.

The indictment was unsealed Friday afternoon following an initial court appearance by Awand. It identifies Awand as the central cog in a massive conspiracy that may have stolen tens of millions of dollars from legal clients, injury victims, and insurance companies.

As outlined in the indictment, Awand offered services to local personal injury law firms agreeing to help them line up expert medical testimony to prove their cases. Awand allegedly consulted with both the doctors and lawyers, but the FBI believes he obtained cooperation by paying kickbacks to the doctors from the lawsuit settlements.

He is also suspected of rigging verdicts, sometimes arranging for doctors to work for both sides in the cases, or to not show up at all for court. Several of the biggest names among Las Vegas lawyers and doctors are suspected of being a part of the conspiracy, although they were not named.

Acting U.S. Attorney Steve Myhre, who is personally prosecuting the case, declined to say much beyond what's in the indictment.

Awand's attorney, Bill Terry declined to comment following Friday's hearing, but he said in court that he believes other indictments are already written but remain sealed. Prosecutor Steve Myhre said he cannot discuss that but told the judge the investigation is ongoing and a federal grand jury is still hearing testimony.

The I-Team first reported that more than a dozen high-profile lawyers and doctors were served with subpoenas back in November 2005, seeking records of their financial deals with Howard Awand.

Awand was released on his own recognizance, even though the U.S. attorney noted that Awand has claimed in the past to work for the CIA. He also told others in the case that he has a badge that allows him to enter Area 51, and a special license plate that won't allow Metro Police to pull him over for anything. All of that, of course, is highly dubious.

Awand will be back in court on March 9th. From all indications, he will be joined there by many others in the weeks and months ahead.

Email your comments to Investigative Reporter George Knapp.

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