PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A lawyer who pleaded guilty to using terminally ill patients' identities in a scheme to obtain millions is asking a federal appeals court to free him as he awaits sentencing.

The Providence Journal reports that estate planner Joseph Caramadre is arguing that a district judge erred when he ordered Caramadre held as a suicide risk.

He claims Judge William Smith ignored case law in a "fit of pique" after Caramadre attempted to withdraw his guilty plea. He says the suicide threat is nonexistent.

Smith rejected Caramadre's attempt to withdraw the plea and called it a cynical effort to manipulate the court.

Caramadre is accused of lying to terminally ill people to get personal information that was used, without their consent, to purchase bonds and annuities that would pay out when a person died.