PHILADELPHIA, March 27 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania federal judge has sentenced a Florida doctor to prison for involvement in a drug fraud scheme that officials said netted him millions of dollars.
Abdur Razzak Tai, 79, received a six-year jail term after being convicted in September for fraudulently certifying thousands of patients had suffered heart damage from taking the drug Fen-Phen, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday.
Tai had received more than $1,000 every time he certified a patient had been injured by taking Fen-Phen so the individual can claim part of a $3.5 billion settlement by the drug's maker.
He signed more than 12,000 physician reports over several years and an audit found 90 percent of them should not have been approved.
In sentencing Tai Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Juan R. Sanchez ignored concerns the elderly defendant might die in prison.
Tai's attorney, Victor Martinez, told the judge during the hearing that for years his client seemed unable to grasp the implications of the charges. Tai had essentially confessed when interviewed by FBI agents, but refused to plead guilty.
The judge ordered Tai to pay $4.5 million in restitution.
Prosecutors weren't sure how much money Tai had made from the scheme, but estimated it at millions of dollars.