RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A Rapid City man convicted in a nearly $17 million medical laser scheme is trying to withdraw his guilty pleas.

Larry Lytle, 83, filed a motion Tuesday to retract the pleas, citing ineffective counsel and asking the judge for mercy, the Rapid City Journal reported .

Lytle pleaded guilty in January to contempt and conspiracy in connection to bogus medical devices known as QLasers. He's awaiting sentencing.

Lytle's motion asked U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange to consider his age and health.

"Judge Lange, in the event you deny my motion and proceed with sentencing, anything other than time served or house arrest will be a death sentence," he wrote.

Lytle admitted to selling hundreds of QLasers from 2005 through 2015, sometimes at about $4,000 per device.

He placed veterinary labels on the phony handheld devices to evade review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to investigators. Lytle and his co-conspirators marketed the devices as being able to treat more than 200 medical conditions, including AIDS.

Lytle's attorney, Ellery Grey, filed a motion to withdraw from the case following his client's allegations of ineffective representation. Grey also said he anticipates having to provide testimony in the case.

Prosecutors encouraged the judge to uphold Lytle's guilty pleas.

"As the Court is well aware, Lytle has pursued a far-reaching delay strategy in his efforts to avoid justice for his career of fraud," the prosecutors wrote in a response filed Wednesday.

Two co-conspirators have also pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com