Quack doctor implanted afterbirth in patients as investors and others put up $1m

Gergana Koleva

An unlicensed Las Vegas doctor who allegedly duped chronically ill patients into paying him for an illegal procedure -- implanting stem cells in their bodies with promises to cure irreversible diseases -- faces fines and as many as 20 years in prison.

A yearlong investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations led to Alfred T. Sapse's arrest last week and indictment on seven counts of mail fraud, 13 counts of wire fraud, a $250,000 fine on each count, and forfeiture of money or property up to $913,748, if convicted.

The 84-year-old Sapse reportedly convinced more than 130 sick patients to undergo unorthodox surgical procedures while also stringing along investors. According to the complaint, he drummed up $1 million by claiming to have pioneered a revolutionary medical procedure for multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and other incurable diseases using stem cells.

Sapse claimed he was a retired foreign physician who studied at a prestigious tissue therapy clinic in Ukraine. "This was false, as defendant Sapse well knew, as he had never studied at, attended, or maintained any relationship with the Filatov Institute," the indictment states, referring to the clinic.