Prosecutors Insist Eye Doc Stole $136 Million

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors say evidence proves a politically connected Florida eye doctor convicted of Medicare fraud stole more than $100 million.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Chase told U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra on Thursday that Dr. Salomon Melgen's practice was "permeated" with fraud and that he should accept the government's estimate that Melgen stole $136 million.

Chase said that even if the 63-year-old Melgen stole $65 million — about half as much — he would be eligible for a life sentence. Prosecutors are seeking 30 years.

Melgen's attorneys argued earlier Thursday that the government has only proven Melgen stole about $64,000. They want a short sentence.

Melgen is charged separately with bribing New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez.

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