Jury finds Diaz guilty on all 16 counts in multi-million dollar - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Jury finds Diaz guilty on all 16 counts in multi-million dollar fraud scheme

Diaz has maintained his innocence, claiming he never knew about the scheme to defraud the government. (Photo source: WDAM) Diaz has maintained his innocence, claiming he never knew about the scheme to defraud the government. (Photo source: WDAM)
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -
After hearing four days of testimony, the jury found Gulfport-based Dr. Albert Diaz guilty on all 16 counts in a multi-million dollar fraud scheme. The jury, made up of six men and six women, delivered the verdict late Friday night and Diaz was taken into custody. 

Diaz was charged in a 16-count federal indictment alleging he was involved in scheme to defraud TRICARE out of millions of dollars. Those charges include fraud, conspiracy,  conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, distribution of a controlled substance and destruction, alteration or falsification of records in a federal investigation.

Albert Diaz’s lawyer, John Colette, walking out of the courtroom didn’t want to make a full statement but said it was very upsetting.

Over four days of testimony, prosecutors have argued Diaz prescribed unnecessary compounded medications, some of which include ketamine, to patients without first examining them.

Diaz has maintained his innocence, claiming he never knew about the scheme to defraud the government.

"I didn't get any money. I didn't do it for that. I thought I was helping people," Diaz said during Thursday’s testimony.
Diaz testified he was lied to and taken advantage of by Jay Schaar, a former pharmaceutical sales representative. Schaar pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in July 2017.

Day 1: Trial begins in multi-million dollar pharmacy fraud scheme

Day 2: Witness: Doctor prescribed meds without evaluating patients

Day 3: Video evidence: Doctor wrote prescriptions without evaluating patients

Day 4: Prosecution, defense rest in Diaz trial

The prosecution started its closing arguments by saying the case was about “fraud, ketamine and a cover-up.” The defense said the case is about “corruption and greed of many, many people.”

WDAM reporter Melissa Egan has been in the courtroom all day. Follow her on Twitter here for the latest details.

Copyright 2018 WDAM. All rights reserved. 

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