Judge Declares Mistrial in Corruption Trial of Melgen, Menendez

November 17, 2017: By Joan McKenna

A federal judge declared a mistrial Nov. 16 in a federal corruption trial of Florida retina specialist Salomon Melgen and US Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, after jurors were unable to reach a verdict. Prosecutors can seek to retry the case.

The trial, overseen by US District Judge William Walls in New Jersey, began Sept. 6. It examined whether Menendez lobbied for Melgen’s business interests in exchange for gifts and political donations.

Defense attorneys built a portrait of their clients as simply friends. Prosecutors alleged that the defendants’ behavior amounted to bribery.

The Justice Department claimed that Menendez intervened to help Melgen try to resolve his $8.9 million billing dispute with Medicare in 2009, after Melgen was accused of overbilling for Lucentis vials. Menendez in return received luxury trips, flights on private jets, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations, prosecutors claim.

The judge repeatedly urged jurors to continue deliberating, telling them to “take as much time as you need.”
In a separate trial earlier in 2017, Melgen, 62, was convicted of 67 counts of Medicare fraud. His sentencing hearing was pushed back to December due to the New Jersey trial. Melgen operated the now closed Vitreo-Retinal Consultants of the Palm Beaches.

In that trial, Melgen was accused of falsely diagnosing patients with macular degeneration and other retinal disorders, performing unnecessary procedures, and overcharging for Lucentis by splitting single-use bottles into multiple doses but charging Medicare per patient.

Need Deeper Analysis? Sign up for Market Scope's monthly newsletter to get in-depth coverage of the ophthalmic market, including quarterly procedure volumes based on survey data and meeting coverage from around the world.

Recent Ophthalmic News

Ivantis Gains US FDA Approval for Hydrus Microstent

US FDA Approves Sun Pharma’s CEQUA for Dry Eye

Regeneron Receives US FDA Approval for 12-Week Eylea Dosing

STAAR, Japan’s Shinjuku LASIK Clinic Sign Multiyear Agreement

Alcon Launches Finesse Sharkskin ILM Forceps

Imprimis’ Q2-2018 Revenues Increase 51 Percent to $10.4 Million

Bausch Health Revenues in Q2-2018 Drop 5 Percent

TearLab’s Q2-2018 Revenues Drop 8.5 Percent to $6.4 Million

DeepMind AI System Accurately Detects Eye Disease in OCT Scans at Moorfields

Study by MIT, Mass Eye and Ear Suggests Glaucoma is Autoimmune Disease

Study Indicates Insulin May Restore Vision in Glaucoma

CHOP Researchers Define Six ROP Indicators

Nicox Initiates Phase II Study of NCX 470 in Open-Angle Glaucoma, Ocular Hypertension

Eyenovia’s Microdose Latanoprost Delivers Drug with Precision, Lowers IOP in Proof-of-Concept Study

Rayner to Launch Sulcoflex Trifocal Toric IOL in September

CMS Allows Medicare Advantage Plans to Apply Step Therapy to Retinal Injections

Glaukos Reports Drug Collaboration with D. Western, Q2-2018 Net Sales Increase of 5 Percent

Allergan Will Co-develop Editas’ CRISPR Genome Editing Candidate for LCA10

Spark Reports Q2-2018 Net Sales of $4.3 Million for Luxturna

Aerie’s Rhopressa Posts $2.4 Million in Net Revenues in Q2-2018

Coming soon

2018 Ophthalmic Laser Report: A Global Market Analysis for 2017 to 2023 (Photocoagulation, Photodisruption, and SLT