Posted: Aug 23, 2012 8:17 AM by AP
Updated: Aug 23, 2012 8:17 AM
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that a former Lafayette cardiologist who lost his appeal last week in a federal health care fraud case will be allowed to remain free while pursuing further legal challenges.Dr. Mehmood M. Patel was sentenced in 2009 to 10 years in prison after his conviction on 51 counts of health care fraud.Federal prosecutors alleged he billed government and private insurers for more than $2 million in unnecessary heart procedures, mainly stents and angioplasties.The Advocate reports federal prosecutors argued in court filings last week that Patel should be required to report to prison even if he plans further legal challenges because the doctor has little chance of success.