Rapid City man to plead guilty in medical laser scheme
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A Rapid City man who authorities say ran an illegal medical laser scheme has agreed to plead guilty to a reduced list of criminal charges and to repay at least $16.7 million to customers.
In exchange, Larry Lytle, 82, requested that prosecutors drop the charges against his longtime live-in girlfriend, the Rapid City Journal reported .
Lytle was accused of making and selling bogus laser medical devices known as QLasers. He’d been scheduled for trial next week on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, contempt and obstruction of government proceedings.
The plea agreement filed Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in Rapid City said that Lytle will plead guilty to criminal contempt and conspiracy.
The charges against Lytle’s girlfriend, Fredretta Eason, will be dismissed. Eason, 76, faced charges of criminal contempt and aiding and abetting.
Court documents show Lytle admitted to selling hundreds of QLasers from 2005 through 2015, which were purchased for about $4,000 each in some cases. He placed veterinary labels on the handheld devices to evade review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Lytle and his co-conspirators claimed the devices could treat more than 200 medical conditions, including AIDS. The only condition the FDA approved for treatment by Lytle’s devices was pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hand.
Lytle also admitted to continuing to distribute QLasers after a federal judge ordered him to stop making and selling them in 2015.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Lytle must pay an initial restitution amount of $1 million to the court by Feb. 15. The agreement said that some of Lytle’s property will be forfeited to help pay the restitution.
Lytle’s charges are punishable by imprisonment and/or fines, as well as supervised release.
Two others charged in the case pleaded guilty already and await sentencing.
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com