Farid Fata's Sentencing Begins: Michigan Doctor Guilty Of Fake Cancer Treatments

Farid Fata’s Sentencing Begins: Michigan Doctor Guilty Of Fake Cancer Treatments

Dr. Farid Fata’s sentencing has begun this Monday morning and already experts have begun providing testimony on how the Michigan doctor gave fake cancer treatments to 533 patients over a period of years. When combined, there are more than 1,400 family members and victims affected by the doctor’s actions, and all of them want to give him a piece of their mind during the sentencing phase.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, impact statements from the victims describe how they were falsely diagnosed with cancer and then given cancer treatments which harmed their bodies. Others were given the wrong type of cancer treatments, or were given too much on purpose, and some of these victims died as a result.

Due to this history, prosecutors called his crimes “more heinous” than any “financial Ponzi Scheme.”

“Fata did not just steal money, he caused cancer patients and vulnerable people he made believe were cancer patients, as props for days and weeks on end, subjecting them to unnecessary chemotherapy in order to steal more money… In many ways, he is worse than Madoff.”

In September of 2014, Dr. Farid Fata plead guilty to 13 counts of health care fraud, two counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks. Prosecutors have sought 175 years in prison for Fata, but the doctor’s lawyers argue he should be sentenced to only 25 years in prison.

“Dr. Fata has systematically defrauded Medicare by submitting false claims for services that were medically unnecessary, including chemotherapy treatments, Positron Emission Tomograph (PET) scans and a variety of cancer and hematology treatments for patients who did not need them,” the criminal complaint explained.

From 2007 through July of 2013, Dr. Farid Fata’s oncology centers billed Medicare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan about $109 million. During this time the doctor lived life large and at one time expressed interest in a castle in Lebanon worth $3 million. Prosecutors also want Dr. Farid Fata to pay back $17.6 million of the money charged.

WXYZ-TV reporter Mike Woolfolk has been live tweeting Dr. Farid Fata’s sentencing and so far the focus has been expert testimony from Dr. Dan Longo, a medical doctor and hemotology/oncology professor at Harvard Medical School. Longo testifies that he reviewed 25 files and this exhibit summarizes his findings.

It is said that “Longo testifies he could see no justification for the volume of Rituxan doses administered. That was a stunning number of injections.” The risks associated with administering unnecessary treatments with Rituximab include “increased susceptibility to infections and later viruses” including “progressive neurological disease, often fatal.” Longo noted that even iron supplements were given to patients who were not iron deficient.

As the testimony continues, Dr. Longo is addressing the issue of hydration infusions.

“Dr. Longo now testifying about Patient FS who received hydration infusion days after initial chemo treatment. Longo testifies he sees no reason for a patient to need suplemental hydration in that instance. Patient FS admitted to Crittenton Hospital on 9/29/2012 a day after hydration treatment. Diagnosed with atrial flutter with rapid ventricular response with associated angina. Longo says that is very rapid heart rate.”

The expert testimony will continue through the afternoon. Starting Tuesday, a large number of them will have 10 minutes each to look the doctor in the eye during Dr. Farid Fata’s sentencing, and it is expected the sentencing will last all week.

[Image via Kathleen Galligan/Detroit Free Press]