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  1. old hippie 56
    A former Bossier City doctor, his wife and one of his ex-employees will be sentenced Jan. 10 in federal court in Shreveport.

    A jury deliberated about five hours Thursday and about 12 hours Friday before returning guilty verdicts about 10 p.m. Friday. The three had been on trial since Sept. 24 on charges of conspiracy and prescription and health care fraud.

    An 87-count indictment accused them of stockpiling pain pills with the intent to distribute them. Prosecutors said they conspired with seven others to obtain hydrocodone, also known as Lortab, by submitting improper prescriptions to Shreveport-Bossier City area pharmacies in one another's name and names of family members as well as prescriptions in false names.

    Attorneys for all three contended that another ex-employee who was among those indicted on all charges was the mastermind behind the fake prescriptions.

    The 11-woman, one-man panel convicted Tandy McElwee "on a substantial number of the 80-plus counts. ... I couldn't keep count," said Marty Stroud, the doctor's defense attorney.

    "When you're faced with an 80-count indictment, you're happy to come back with that," Stroud said, noting that Tandy McElwee was found not guilty of three of the four counts of health care fraud, the charge that carries the stiffest sentence the doctor faced.

    His wife, Ava Cates McElwee, faced more than 70 charges and was found guilty of one count each of obtaining a Controlled Dangerous Substance by fraud and conspiracy to obtain a CDS by fraud, said her defense attorney, Allyn Stroud. "We'll look into what our remedies are and consider appealing," he said.

    Former employee Catherine Cockrell was found guilty of one count of conspiring to obtain a CDS by fraud. It was not immediately clear whether she was convicted of any other charge.

    Five others — four of them former employees in Tandy McElwee's office — previously pleaded guilty to lesser charges.



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