Sweet revenge turns sour for diabolical doc

By James Quiggle
January 12, 2009

Dr. Ira Klein


Dr. Ira Klein wouldn’t take his conviction...

The Houston doc was serving more than 10 years in federal prison for stealing at least $10 million by billing insurers inflated fees for injecting patients with Hepatitis C medicine even though he’d given the meds to patients to inject themselves. He even refused to treat some patients after insurers stopped paying his huge bills.

““Make him look like a pancake,” Klein said in ordering a hit on the federal prosecutor who convicted him.”But Klein’s con took a sinister turn when he decided it was payback time for the people he thought had put him behind bars.

His revenge wouldn’t be pretty, and plenty of Grade B slasher movies were tamer than Klein’s plot.

Klein set his plot into motion by trying to convince fellow inmate lyad Abu El Hawa to help arrange the hits for $550,000. El Hawa was no angel either; he’d been convicted of injecting fake flu vaccine into 1,100 Exxon Mobil employees in 2005.

Here’s how it would go down, he told El Hawa:

Federal prosecutor Sam Louis would be run over by an 18-wheeler to “make him look like a pancake,” Klein told the inmate.

FBI special agent Jayme Poteet also was on the hit list for investigating Klein’s health scheme. Acid would be thrown in Poteet’s face, Klein ordered.

Klein also was convinced his ex-wife Gabrielle Puccini—his sixth wife—had helped rat him out, according to reports. So she would be shot to death even though in fact she says she had no hard evidence.

But instead of setting up the hits, El Hawa turned informant and told the feds about the plot. Klein later wired an undercover FBI agent $250,000, thinking the agent was in on the deadly plot.

Klein received nearly three years in federal prison. Meanwhile, Puccini had reason to be worried. Klein allegedly tried to torch her Florida home in a suicide attempt after he was busted for the health con.

“Be warned. Those who threaten the lives and safety of American prosecutors and agents will soon find themselves in jail, where they belong,” said U.S. attorney Johnny Sutton.


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