MIAMI (AP) — On the eve of jury selection, a federal judge agreed Monday to delay the trial of the alleged mastermind of an $800 million insurance investment fraud scheme because the man suffers from severe pain and health problems caused by a chronic back ailment.

U.S. District Judge Robert Scola granted the postponement after former Mutual Benefits Corp. chief Joel Steinger, 63, tearfully requested time for spinal surgery. Steinger, who uses a wheelchair and is on strong pain medications, appeared in court in a hospital gown. He frequently wrapped a blanket around his chest.

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