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Convicted laser swindler pays $637,000 in restitution

RAPID CITY (AP) — Federal court records show a Rapid City man convicted of running an illegal medical laser scheme has paid $637,000 in restitution so far while he awaits sentencing.

Larry Lytle, 82, pleaded guilty in January to criminal contempt and conspiracy. He has agreed to reimburse all customers who purchased one of his phony QLaser medical devices. The plea agreement states that sales of the handheld devices totaled more than $16 million.

Lytle made his initial restitution payment of $637,000 by check on Feb. 5, the Rapid City Journal reported . Scam victims who believe they might be owed restitution can contact the U.S. Attorney's Office in Rapid City. The court will determine how restitution money is distributed.

Lytle admitted to selling hundreds of QLasers from 2005 through 2015 that were purchased for about $4,000 each. Investigators said he placed veterinary labels on the bogus handheld devices to evade review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

He and his co-conspirators claimed the devices could treat more than 200 medical conditions, including AIDS. The only condition the FDA approved for treatment by Lytle's devices was pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hand.

Lytle has filed a motion to delay his sentencing until his appeals against prior court orders are settled.

Two co-conspirators have also pleaded guilty. They're awaiting sentencing.