The following article appeared in the Metro Section of the March 6, 2000 edition of the New York Times.

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March 6, 2000

Fertility Doctor Jury Deadlocks

By Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- A federal jury was unable to reach a verdict in the insurance fraud trial of a prominent fertility doctor on Monday, deadlocking after seven days of deliberations. A mistrial was declared.

Dr. Niels Lauersen shook his lawyer's hand after the jury told the judge that further deliberations would be futile.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Chung told the judge that the government would seek a speedy retrial. U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley said another trial might occur as early as next month.

Prosecutors alleged Lauersen, an obstetrician and gynecologist, stole more than $2 million from insurance companies over a 10-year period by falsely billing fertility surgeries that were not covered by insurance as gynecological surgeries that were.

Theodore D. Wells, Lauersen's lawyer, said his 63-year-old client was a target for prosecutors and the insurance companies because he spoke out against the failure of most companies to pay for fertility procedures.

After the mistrial was declared, Lauersen declined to comment.

Lauersen, the author of ``It's Your Body,'' has appeared frequently on television and in publications as an expert on fertility matters, which make up about 10 percent of his practice.

Copyright 3000 The New York Times Company

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