As sentencing continues for eye doctor, both sides disagree on the level of offense

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Former eye doctor faces 30 years as sentencing in fraud case moves forward. (WPEC)

The high stakes sentencing hearing continued Thursday for Dr.Saloman Melgen.

The eye doctor was convicted in April of 67 crimes including health care fraud, submitting false claims, and falsifying records in patient’s files.

During the third day of his sentencing, the defense tried to convince the judge that there was no harm to Medicare because Melgen was ultimately helping his patients.

The defense calculated the total loss to Medicare billed by Melgen at around 64 thousand dollars.

Prosecutors claim the total loss is as much as 170 million dollars.

The amount will help the judge determine how long to sentence Melgen.

The prosecution is asking the 63-year-old to spend 30 years behind bars for sacrificing individual patient treatment to maximize billing and the amount of money in his pocket.

The defense said Melgen only submitted false claims because he generally believed his patients had the conditions he initially examined them for.

An official date for the sentencing hearing to continue has not been set.

The judge could sentence Melgen to life in prison.