Appeals panel denies bond for doctor charged with chemo fraud

SUMMIT — A federal appeals panel has upheld the denial of bond for a doctor charged in a chemotherapy fraud case that authorities say swindled millions from Medicaid and Medicare.

Dr. Meera Sachdeva, founder of Rose Cancer Center in Summit, and two others are charged with numerous federal crimes for allegedly participating in a scheme to dilute chemotherapy drugs and bill for bigger amounts. The clinic also allegedly used old needles on multiple patients.

Sachdeva, a naturalized citizen from India, has been held without bond since her August arrest. She has pleaded not guilty.

In asking that bond be denied, federal prosecutors said Sachdeva’s wealth and frequent overseas travel make her a flight risk, even after authorities seized about $6 million. They said Sachdeva has or has had medical licenses in six states. She’s being held without bond.

Sachdeva had appealed the denial of bond to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Yesterday, a three-judge panel upheld a Mississippi federal magistrate’s decision that Sachdeva was a flight risk.

“The district court’s determination that the government had shown by a preponderance of the evidence that no condition or combination of conditions could reasonably assure Sachdeva’s presence at trial is supported by the record,” the panel said in its ruling.

The clinic’s former office manager, 24-year-old Brittany McCoskey of Monticello, and a former billing agent, 43-year-old Monica Weeks of Madison, have pleaded not guilty and are free on bond.

The trial for all three has been scheduled for Feb. 7.

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