Cancer Doc Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges for False Chemo

Cancer Doctor Who Gave Chemotherapy to Healthy Patients Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges

guilty to federal chargesA cancer doctor from Detroit has pleaded guilty to federal charges, such as giving healthy patients unnecessary cancer treatment, including dangerous chemotherapy, on Tuesday, September 16th.

Reportedly, Dr. Farid Fata pleaded guilty to federal charges without prosecution offering a plea deal.

“We weren’t interested in bargaining anything away,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said. She added that she would seek life in prison for Fata, calling the case “shocking.”

“His conduct was so egregious,” she told The Associated Press on the courthouse steps. “It wasn’t a matter of stealing money but torturing patients by lying to them about having cancer. … Chemotherapy is poison intended to kill cancer cells.”

Tuesday’s hearing was intended as an opportunity to argue evidence, with the official beginning date for the jury trial set in October. However, Fata took the opportunity to plead guilty to federal charges when evidence against him was heard, and US District Judge Paul Borman, after going over the federal charges again, asked, “You’re pleading guilty freely and voluntarily?”

“Yes,” Fata replied. He added later, “I knew that [chemotherapy] was medically unnecessary.”

Federal prosecutors indicted 48-year-old Dr. Farid Fata, from Oakland Township, of “systematically defrauded Medicare by submitting false claims for services that were medically unnecessary.” The federal complaint alleges that Dr. Fata robbed the federal medical program of over $35 million in a 2-year period.

Fata earned about $24.3 million in drug infusion billings directly to Medicare, “more than any hematologist/oncologist in the state of Michigan during that time period,” FBI agent Brian Fairweather wrote in the criminal complaint. The complaint also alleges that co-workers and former employees witnessed dozens of people going in and out of the office every day for consultations, but Fata spent less than 5 minutes with each of them before prescribing chemotherapy to treat their cancer, and billing Medicare. Fata also allegedly hired doctors who may not have been properly licensed to practice medicine.

Fata faces 16 federal charges, including 13 counts of health care fraud, two counts of money laundering, and one charge of conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks.

Now that Fata has pleaded guilty to the federal charges, there will be no jury trial, and the former oncologist will instead be sentenced on February 23rd, 2015. Any trial on remaining federal charges will not be held until next year.

“Dr. Fata today admitted he put greed before the health and safety of his patients, putting them through unnecessary chemotherapy and other treatments just so that he could collect additional millions from Medicare.  The mere thought of what he did is chilling.  Thanks to the quick action of our partners, he was arrested and has now admitted his guilt,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said in a statement.

Prosecuting Federal Charges in South Carolina

If you or a loved one are the victims of a serious crime, including terrorism, kidnapping, or theft, it is important that you take the person who hurt you to court – whether it is a federal criminal trial, or personal injury lawsuit. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm have been based in Columbia, SC for 16 years, and are also licensed to practice in Georgia and New York. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so do not hesitate to contact us for help. 803.252.4800.

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