Doctor Due in Court in|Nevada Hep C Outbreak

     LAS VEGAS (CN) – The doctor at the center of Southern Nevada’s hepatitis C outbreak is due in court today (Wednesday) for arraignment on 28 felony charges. Dipak Desai, 60, and co-defendants Ronald Lakeman and Keith Mathahs are accused of ordering anesthesiologists to reuse single-use vials of anesthetic on patients at the Endoscopy Clinic of Southern Nevada.

     They face felony charges of racketeering, negligence and insurance fraud.
     A grand jury indicted Desai on Friday, and he posted $1 million bail Monday.
     A judge ordered him to surrender his passport. Bail for his two co-defendants was set at $500,000 each.
     A criminal investigation was launched after the Southern Nevada Health District disclosed the hepatitis C outbreak in 2008. The agency linked hepatitis C cases to Desai’s Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada.
     More than 40,000 former patients were asked to get tested for AIDS and hepatitis B and C.
     Aside from the criminal charges, Desai also faces thousands of former patients who flooded Clark County Court with medical malpractice lawsuits against him.
     Desai was ordered to give up his license to practice medicine, and he has filed for bankruptcy. His attorneys say he has suffered a series of strokes since the hepatitis C outbreak.

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