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Trial set for ex-Rose Cancer Center doctor, billing agent

SUMMIT — An October 29 trial date has been set for a cancer doctor and a billing agent charged with health care fraud that includes allegations of using diluted chemotherapy drugs and old needles.

Dr. Meera Sachdeva, Brittany McCoskey and Monica Weeks were indicted last August on charges including conspiracy and witness tampering related to the activities of Rose Cancer Center in Summit. McCoskey pleaded guilty to one count of fraud on May 17 and awaits sentencing.

Sachdeva established the clinic in south Mississippi in 2005. Prosecutors say Weeks did billing, while McCoskey was a receptionist and later the office manager.

U.S. District Judge Dan Jordan’s office says the trial is expected to last three weeks.

Authorities say the clinic watered down drugs and billed Medicaid, Medicare and insurance companies for more chemotherapy drugs than patients received. The clinic billed Medicaid and Medicare for about $15.1 million during the alleged scheme.

Sachdeva has been held without bond since August because authorities consider her a flight risk. She is a naturalized U.S. citizen from India. Prosecutors said she often traveled overseas and has considerable assets, including bank accounts, in her native country, despite the seizure of about $6 million.

The Mississippi Health Department closed Rose Cancer Center in July because of “unsafe infection control practices.”

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