Dr. Albert Diaz has until March 20 to ask for new trial

Dr. Albert Diaz has until March 20 to ask for new trial
Diaz will be sentenced on May 22. (Photo source: WDAM)

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:

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