A Nevada paediatrician has been charged with conspiring to implant chronically ill patients with stem cells collected from human placentas. Dr Ralph Conti, 50, was set to appear before a federal magistrate judge in the Las Vegas US District Court on Thursday for 34 counts of mail and wire fraud along with a co-conspirator, Alfred Sapse.
Sapse, 85, has already been charged with fraud over his company StemCell Pharma Inc. Prosecutors have alleged that he engaged Conti and other doctors in Las Vegas and Mexico to implant placental tissue to treat about 130 patients fordiseases such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and the degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa. Many patients developed infections. Sapse posed as a doctor who had trained in the Ukraine.
“By misrepresenting his credentials, the nature of his treatment, the source of his ‘stem cells’, and the adverse effects suffered by previous patients, defendant Sapse convinced chronically ill patients to undergo experimental implant procedures, many of which were performed by Conti,” the indictment said.
Prosecutors say that the scheme amassed over $1 million.. ~ Boston Globe, Oct 13