(LAS VEGAS, KXNT)–Alfred Sapse, an 87 year old man who prosecutors say conspired with a doctor to take money from chronically ill patients for a phony stem cell procedure has been sentenced to a 17 year prison term and was ordered to pay a million dollars restitution. Sapse was convicted late last year of mail fraud and wire fraud. His co-defendant, Dr Ralph Conti died not long after that conviction.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Las Vegas says that Sapse, who was not licensed to practice medicine in Nevada, convinced chronically ill patients to undergo experimental implant procedures costing large amounts of money without notifying them of the short or long-term affects of the procedures.

The procedures involved the implantation of portions of placental tissue into the abdomen of the patients for the treatment of their diseases. Sapse allegedly targeted extremely sick patients, by claiming that his “proprietary” procedure was especially effective for patients with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and retinitis pigmentosa,  disease of the retina which can cause blindness.

Prosecutors say Sapse collected thousands of dollars in payments from the patients.

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