CINCINNATI, OH (WOWK) – The sentence of a Kentucky doctor who was originally convicted of fraud and sentenced to prison was vacated by the Sixth Circuit of the US Court of Appeals on Thursday, March 5, 2020.
Court documents state a three-judge panel ruled that the proceedings in the district court violated former Ashland cardiologist, Dr. Richard Paulus’s Fifth Amendment right to due process. The panel then decided to vacate Paulus’ conviction, and sent it back down to the district court for a re-trial.
Paulus was sentenced to five years in prison in May of 2019 after being convicted in a healthcare fraud scheme and making false statements relating to healthcare matters. Federal prosecutors say as part of the scheme, Paulus performed unnecessary heart procedures in Eastern Kentucky.
The conviction was appealed when Paulus said he learned the government withheld evidence from him on the district court’s orders. On appeal, his lawyers argued that this withholding violated his due process rights.
According to court documents, several audits indicated Paulus had reported a much more severe blockage in patients’ arteries than their angiograms reflected. Court documents also state Paulus inserted unneeded stents, and then billed patients and their insurance companies for the stent procedure.
Paulus was a cardiologist at King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland when authorities received an anonymous complaint in 2008 alleging the unnecessary procedures.