SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Dr. Ricardo Asch, a pioneer of in-vitro fertilization has been charged with mail fraud in a scheme to steal patients’ stored eggs for use in other women. Asch, former director of a prestigious University of California fertility clinic, has escaped the law and is living in Mexico. His university has paid $18.4 million to settle lawsuits by former patients. Attorneys claim at least 15 babies were born without knowledge or consent of their genetic mothers and fathers.

Asch, internationally revered for his work, was charged with 10 counts of mail fraud for falsifying insurance claims for fertility procedures. He was also charged with 10 counts of giving patients a fertility drug approved in Argentina but not in the United States. Asch’s former work- place, the University of California – Irvine, closed its Center for Reproductive Health in 1995 after patients found out that their eggs or embryos were taken from storage without their consent and implanted in other women, some of whom had babies.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles said that the Justice Department will attempt to extradite Asch.