LAS VEGAS (AP) — A former Nevada doctor at the center of a 2007 hepatitis C outbreak has been ordered into federal custody for a mental evaluation.

U.S. Senior District Judge Larry Hicks signed the order last week to determine if Dipak Desai is mentally competent to accept a plea deal on federal health care fraud charges.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Desai’s lawyers and federal prosecutors signed a stipulation agreeing that the evaluation is appropriate.

Desai, who surrendered his medical license, was convicted last year of 27 criminal counts in state court related to the outbreak. He was sentenced to life in prison with possible parole after 18 years.

Trial is scheduled in August if no agreement is reached.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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