Orlando doctor accused of giving partial vaccines reaches plea deal

Dr. Ishrat Sohail pleads no contest to organized fraud

ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando doctor accused of improperly administering vaccines reached a plea deal Friday.

Dr. Ishrat Sohail pleaded no contest to a charge of organized fraud. She faces up to 15 years in prison, but will receive no more than nine months in jail if she continues to cooperate with the investigation.

Sohail was arrested in February after state investigators said employees of the doctor's office tipped them off.

Investigators said they found the doctor was charging private insurance companies for vaccines she was getting for free through the government-funded Vaccines for Children program.

According to prosecutors, employees said Sohail was not only collecting thousands of dollars from the free vaccines, but she wasn't administering the full amount of the vaccine. State health officials said by doing so, the doctor put hundreds of children as risk for illness and disease.

After her arrest, the Florida Department of Health issued a warning that as many as 500 children need to be revaccinated.

As part of Sohail's plea deal, she was ordered to pay $620,536 of restitution to the state. She was also forced to relinquish her license to practice medicine.

Approximately $576,000 will be used to revaccinate children who were affected.  

At the time of her arrest, the Orange County Department of Health said no one reported any serious illness or reaction from vaccines given by Sohail.

Sentencing for Sohail has been scheduled for 9 a.m. on July 13. In addition to possible jail time, she will receive 10 years of probation and 200 hours of community service.

About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.