He was accused of performing unnecessary procedures.

A Florida ophthalmologist who was convicted in a Medicare fraud case could face up to life in prison, The Associated Press reports.

A sentencing hearing for Dr. Salomon Melgen began last week. His crimes carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, but prosecutors have asked for a 30-year sentence.

The AP reports that Melgen was convicted on dozens of counts related to the scheme, including health care fraud. He was accused of performing procedures that weren't necessary.

Patients spoke both for and against Melgen at the sentencing hearing. According to the AP, some said the ophthalmologist "restored their sight for free," but others said they received "painful and unnecessary treatments that left them blind."

U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra is presiding over the hearing.

Separately, Melgen was charged with bribing U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey. His trial ended with a hung jury last month. He and Menendez were alleged to have swapped "lavish gifts for government favors," according to AP.

Read more at The Associated Press

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