Former physician admits to faking own diagnosis

A retired Mays Landing, N.J.-based physician pleaded guilty to fabricating documents and faking a diagnosis to avoid trial, the Justice Department said Jan. 27. 

In August 2021, William Merlino, MD, was awaiting trial on a felony charge for selling a toxic chemical as a weight loss drug online. He admitted to faking a pancreatic cancer diagnosis by altering both a physician's letters and legitimate medical records. The misbranding trial was postponed until the documents were discovered to be falsified, the Justice Department said.

In August 2022, Dr. Merlino was convicted of selling misbranded drugs online. 

Dr. Merlino is scheduled to be sentenced on the obstruction charge and the misbranding trial conviction March 16.

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