Dr. Dipak Desai
Dr. Dipak Desai appears in court for a competency hearing in 2012.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — A once-prominent Las Vegas physician who was convicted of murder and 26 other charges in the largest hepatitis outbreak in Nevada history has died in prison custody, a state corrections official said Tuesday.

Dipak Kantilal Desai died at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, prisons spokeswoman Brooke Keast said. He was 67. He had been transferred April 2 from the medical facility at Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City. An autopsy was scheduled to determine a cause of death.

Desai’s lawyer, Richard Wright, maintained for years that Desai was in such poor health after several strokes that he was unfit for trial on criminal charges stemming from the outbreak. However, state and federal prosecutors branded him a malingerer who tried to con psychiatrists and physicians to avoid the consequences of egregious criminal and financial crimes.

The outbreak occurred in 2007, however, it didn’t become public until the next year, when health officials notified 63,000 former Desai clinic patients to get tested for potentially fatal blood-borne diseases. Within months, regional health investigators linked at least nine and as many as 114 cases of hepatitis C to Desai clinics.

He was sentenced in July 2013 to 18 years to life in state prison on charges that included neglect of patients and insurance fraud. He was serving a nearly six-year concurrent federal prison sentence after pleading guilty before trial to health care fraud and conspiracy. At trial, prosecutors said Desai, a former member of the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners, once bragged about the number of patients he handled at his endoscopy clinic practice where penny-pinching was a mantra.

Desai agreed in 2014 to repay $2.2 million to insurance companies and the federal government. But he had given up his medical license and declared bankruptcy when the outbreak became public.