Friday, May 28, 2010

Man sentenced to 15 years in prison over organ transplant scam

Finally the hard work of the DeWitt, N.Y. police department and investigator Scott Kapral has paid off in the conviction and sentencing of disgraced psychiatrist Jerome Feldman. Feldman, whose license to practice was revoked, scammed one family out of $70,000 and got much more from other dying people. Feldman cast the net wide, using a computer web site to reel in prospective victims, court documents said. He'd promise the amount they paid -- usually around $75,000 -- would cover all their medical expenses. They would arrive in the Philippines and realize no surgeries had been scheduled and the doctor who was to perform the operation didn't exist.

The investigation started when a woman from Edmonton, Canada contacted several police departments saying her husband was duped out of $70,000 in an organ transplant scam and died while waiting for the operation. She contacted the DeWitt, N.Y. police because she had wired the money to a Chase Bank account there. How Feldman was caught reads like a good detective story and you can read it at Disgraced psychiatrist arrested.

The Miami Herald
UTICA, N.Y. -- A former psychiatrist accused of duping seriously ill people out of $400,000 with false promises of organ transplants in the Philippines has been sentenced in New York to more than 15 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge David Hurd also ordered Jerome Feldman to repay $2 million to the victims of the transplant scheme and an earlier Medicare fraud in Florida.

The 69-year-old Feldman pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud charges for luring five people to the Philippines for potentially lifesaving organ transplants.

Prosecutors say Feldman never arranged the transplants and kept the money. One person died while awaiting a liver.

Feldman apologized in court Thursday.

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