Fugitive doctor in Pakistan loses Ohio appeal over assets

CINCINNATI (AP) — An appeals court has upheld the seizure of $4.8 million and valuable jewelry from a former Ohio doctor accused of fleeing to Pakistan before he was charged with running a pill mill.

Cleveland.com reports a three-judge panel from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati essentially concluded the fugitive should have returned to fight for those assets if he wanted them back.

Dr. Syed Jawad Akhtar-Zaidi has said he can’t return because a heart condition precludes him from flying, though a judge didn’t believe that reasoning.

He’s accused of distributing prescription painkillers without legitimate reasons in Solon. He was indicted in 2014.

His attorney, Patrick McLaughlin, argued the doctor’s claims shouldn’t have been dismissed merely because he’s a fugitive. McLaughlin says the appeals court decision is disappointing.