Former UC Irvine fertility doctor will not be extradited to U.S., Mexican official says
Mexico has decided against sending Dr. Ricardo Asch, the fugitive physician at the center of UC Irvine's fertility scandal, back to the United States for prosecution, a top Mexican official told The Times on Thursday.
U.S authorities were seeking to extradite Asch after he was arrested in November at his Mexico City apartment on an Interpol "red notice." He was indicted in 1997 on federal mail fraud and tax evasion charges, but fled to Mexico City and his native Argentina to evade prosecution.
Asch headed the internationally renowned Center for Reproductive Health and many accused him of taking eggs and embryos from some patients without their consent and giving them to other women. The unprecedented fertility fraud led to the live births of at least 15 children and lawsuits by scores of couples devastated by the revelations. The University of California, which was accused of trying to cover up the wrongdoing by Asch and two partners, has paid some $25 million to settle 140 lawsuits.
-- Kim Christensen
Photo: Dr. Ricardo Asch shown in 1995. Credit: Alex Garcia / Los Angeles Times