Prosecutors are seeking a 175-year sentence for a Michigan doctor who intentionally misdiagnosed hundreds of healthy patients with cancer to line his pockets.
A sentencing hearing began Monday for Dr. Farid Fata, who gave unnecessary cancer treatments to 553 patients, according to Fox News Insider. Fata owned the hematology and oncology offices in the Detroit area and in Lapeer.
He was arrested back in 2013 for the health care fraud and pleaded guilty in September 2014 to health care fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks. He has been behind bars ever since.
“There is no real justice,” victim Geraldine Parkin said, adding that she hopes her anger and frustration will finally go away once Fata is sentenced.
Arthur Aidala said this morning on “Fox and Friends” that getting chemo when you don’t have cancer “destroys your insides.”
He said that the lesson to be learned here is to ask to see lab reports and paperwork.
Dr. Keith Ablow added that this case proves that doctors aren’t good enough at supervising other doctors.
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said she plans to seek life in prison for Fata, calling his case is “the most egregious” health care fraud case her office has seen. She said Fata not only cheated the government, which is typical in such cases, but he also harmed patients.
McQuade told the Free Press:
“In this case, we had Dr. Fata administering chemotherapy to people who didn’t need it, essentially putting poison into their bodies and telling them that they had cancer when they didn’t have cancer. The idea that a doctor would lie to a patient just to make money is shocking… Dr. Fata was unique in that he saw patients not as people to heal, but as commodities to exploit.”
Fata’s lawyer has asked for a 25-year sentence.
The government has also asked Borman to order the doctor to pay back $17.6 million paid by Medicare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan for fraudulent treatments. The figure doesn’t include patient co-pays coinsurance contributions, according to court documents.
A doctor at Beaumont Hospital reported treating at least two former Fata patients after his arrest, according to court documents.
One had been diagnosed with Stage-4 lung cancer and treated with both radiation and chemotherapy. When the Beaumont doctor learned that Fata made the diagnosis after a fine needle biopsy, a full excisional biopsy was performed, showing the patient had a completely different cancer, a sarcoma, for which the surgery, not chemotherapy, was needed.
A second patient had been treated with radiation for his prostate cancer before being “inexplicably shifted to a regimen of lung cancer chemotherapy,” according to court documents.
The Beaumont doctor reported that the patient underwent two to three years of unnecessary chemotherapy, leaving him “severely disabled with neuropathy, wheelchair bound, and convinced by Fata’s lies that he needs chemotherapy.”
The patient continues to his new doctor for chemotherapy, according to prosecutors.