A jury at the Lloyd George federal court in Las Vegas has convicted two medical men of defrauding chronically ill patients, by subjecting them to experimental stem-cell implants.
Doctor Ralph Conti and a self-described medical researcher named Alfred Sapse were found guilty Wednesday of conspiracy, mail fraud, as well as wire fraud.
Investigators report that the 86-year old Sapse had – for more than 5 years – successfully convinced patients to undergo useless surgeries, involving placenta tissue implants into their abdomens. At least two patients became seriously ill as a result of the scam.
Sapse, a Romanian-born con artist, set up a fraudulent Nevada corporation called StemCell Pharma, Inc. in order to put a legitimate face on his “research” projects.
Police were able to prove that Conti, age 51 and a pediatrician in Henderson, Nevada, was recruited by the elderly Sapse in 2006, and accepted a $60,000 payment to implant stem cells into as many as 30 ailing patients. More than 100 other patients underwent useless – and highly dangerous – surgical procedures, and paid out more than $1,000,000 in cash.
Conti and Sapse face a maximum of 20 years in federal prison.
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