I-Team Exclusive: Las Vegas Lawyer Indicted in Conspiracy Case - 8 News NOW

George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter

I-Team Exclusive: Las Vegas Lawyer Indicted in Conspiracy Case

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(May 22) -- Federal prosecutors unveiled the latest move in their investigation of Las Vegas doctors and lawyers. George Knapp of the I-Team first broke the story about the investigation.

They unsealed an 18-count indictment against two men alleged to have participated in a wide-ranging conspiracy to defraud patients and clients and insurance companies out of millions of dollars.

Two names were made public Tuesday at the federal courthouse, two of what could be many.

The scheme that the I-Team has described in previous reports is what federal prosecutors outlined Tuesday afternoon -- doctors and lawyers working together to inflate the value of medical injury cases and then fleece the injured parties out of their rightful share of legal settlements. The FBI believes the amount ranges into tens of millions of dollars.

One of the men indicted is 69-year-old personal injury lawyer Noel Gage. He's been a lawyer for 45 years and looked very much out of place amid the other criminal suspects in federal court.

Read the statement issued by Noel Gage's attorney regarding the charges.

Gage declined comment except to say he hopes the I-Team will cover the story when he is exonerated. But his defense lawyers have a tough road ahead.

The indictment against Gage is very detailed, alleging more than a million dollars in kickbacks paid by Gage to the other defendant, Howard Awand, the so-called middleman who is suspected of funneling some of that money to doctors who helped inflate the value of personal injury cases.

Acting U.S. Attorney Steve Myhre made no secret of the fact that there is much more to come. He stated, "This is ongoing and expansive..."

As the I-Team has been reporting for the past 17 months or more, at least seven local attorneys and seventeen local doctors are suspected of participating in the scheme, which has been under investigation since 2003.

Noel Gage is slated to go to trial in July. By then, it's entirely possible that we will know some other names and hear of other indictments.

The I-Team asked Mr. Myhre if any of those kickbacks made their way to public officials. He declined to comment, at least for now.

Email your comments to Chief Investigative Reporter George Knapp.

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