Cardiologist Seeks New Trial

SALISBURY — A Salisbury cardiologist convicted by a federal jury in July on six counts of health care fraud after he allegedly performed over 100 unnecessary stent procedures on heart patients from all over the Lower Shore this week filed a motion for acquittal along with a motion for a new trial.

In July, a federal jury convicted Salisbury cardiologist John R. McLean, 59, on six health care fraud offenses in connection with a scheme during which he submitted insurance claims for inserting unnecessary cardiac stents, ordered unnecessary tests and made false entries in patient medical records in order to defraud Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers. McLean faces as many as 35 years in prison, including a maximum sentence of 10 years for health care fraud and five years each for the five counts of making false statements related to healthcare matters. Sentencing has been set for November.

However, before the sentencing date arrives, McLean on Wednesday filed two motions in federal court, the first being a motion for acquittal on all charges, and the second being a motion for a new trial, each of which attempts to points out a series of errors made during his July trial in federal court. According to court documents, the motions filed this week reiterate similar objections McLean made prior to and during his trial in July.

“Prior to the jury’s consideration of the case, both during the trial and after the close of evidence, Dr. McLean lodged various objections and orally moved for a judgment of acquittal on all counts,” the motion reads. “Dr. McLean now moves for entry of a judgment of acquittal on all counts.”

In the motion for acquittal filed this week, McLean’s attorneys pointed out the state never proved the doctor’s intent to defraud and attempt to chalk up the hundred-plus unnecessary procedures to other possible causes.

“The government failed to prove Dr. McLean’s actions were the result of intentional fraud, as opposed to some other equally plausible, and non-criminal, explanation such as medical malpractice or simple mistake,” the motion reads.

The motion for acquittal also attempts to point out McLean’s alleged 105 unncessary procedures were a small percentage of the total number of stent procedures he performed during the time in question.

“The two expert witnesses testified they had reviewed a combined number of procedures exceeding 700 catheterizations,” the motion reads. “Of the more than 700 procedures involving stent placement by Dr. McLean, the experts testified that only approximately 105 of those procedures were medically questionable.”