HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - An extension has been granted for the doctor convicted in a multi-million dollar compound pharmacy fraud scheme to file for a new trial. The order was filed Friday morning by U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett.
Attorneys for Dr. Albert Diaz will now have until Tuesday, March 20 to file a motion for a new trial "on any basis other than newly discovered evidence."
Diaz was found guilty on all 16 charges in a federal indictment on March 2 for his role in a scheme to defraud TRICARE, which included signing prescriptions for patients without seeing them and falsifying patient records through a Hattiesburg-based pharmacy.
Diaz's charges include one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, four counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to distribute and dispense a controlled substance, four counts of distributing and dispensing of a controlled substance, one count of conspiracy to falsify records in a federal investigation and five counts of falsification of records in a federal investigation.
Earlier this week, a judge denied bond for the 78-year-old doctor. The court document said the "defendant has not overcome the presumption, because he has not established that there is a substantial likelihood that a motion for new trial will be granted, the government has not recommended that no sentence of imprisonment be imposed; and defendant has not established by clear and convincing evidence that he is not a flight risk or a danger to any other person or the community."
A sentencing hearing for Diaz is scheduled for May 22 in Hattiesburg. The doctor faces up to 305 years in prison and up to $7.5 million in fines.
From the court room: