Plea deals could come before federal hep C trial

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Plea deals are possible in a federal health care fraud case against a former physician already serving time in state prison in a Las Vegas hepatitis C outbreak and a former clinic manager.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Crane Pomerantz made the revelation Wednesday while briefing Senior U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks on preparations for a rescheduled trial for Dipak Desai and Tonya Rushing.

Trial has been pushed back from July to Aug. 8.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/OYVNLO ) that Pomerantz said Rushing is considering a plea offer.

An agreement with Desai depends on whether doctors determine he's competent to understand it.

Desai is serving 18 years to life in prison after being found guilty in state court of second-degree murder and 26 other criminal charges in the 2007 hepatitis outbreak.

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Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com

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