Former eye doctor faces 30 years as sentencing in fraud case moves forward
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. (CBS 12) —
The sentencing hearing for Dr. Saloman Melgen continued Wednesday at the Federal Courthouse.
The man who was once the highest paid Medicare provider in the country sat he sat quietly in the courtroom shackled in a blue prison jumpsuit.
The convicted eye doctor took notes while often glancing at the many family and friends who filled the room in support of him, including his wife Flora.
Flora Melgen made an emotional plea to the judge to go easy on her husband who was convicted in April of 67 crimes, including health care fraud, submitting false claims, and falsifying records in patient’s files.
She told the judge her husband was passionate about his job and worked long hours, saying that maybe was what contributed to his mistakes.
According to Flora Melgen, he would never intentionally trick anyone and has always been respectful of the law.
She told the judge their life has been destroyed.
An FBI agent who assisted with the prosecution’s case testified about how those files were analyzed.
The agent told the judge a local retinal specialist looked at hundreds of files to see if they supported or refuted Melgen’s patients diagnosis and treatment.
They found many of the conditions listed in patients files did not match the true condition of their eyes.
The defense argued that the random group or sample of Melgen’s patients that were presented to the jury during trial were cherry picked by prosecutors to get their point across.
A mathematics and bio statistics consultant took the stand for the prosecution telling the judge the agents weren’t bias in selection and the process they used was fair.
Prosecutors are asking for 30 years.
Melgen was also charged with bribing New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, but that trial ended in a hung jury.