Dr. Farid Fata, the Michigan cancer doctor who admitted to giving cancer treatments to patients who were cancer-free, was sentenced on Friday. Although many trial watchers expected the judge to hand down a life sentence, Fata was instead given 45 years in a low-security prison.
Although he did not get life for his wrong-doings, there are conflicting reports as to how long he will be required to stay behind bars. According to CNN, Fata is expected to serve at least 34 out of his 45 year sentence in jail, however the Detroit News states that he is ineligible for parole and will be required to serve out his entire sentence.
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) July 10, 2015
Dr. Farid Fata, 50, pleaded guilty on multiple counts of Medicare fraud, two counts of money laundering, and one count of conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks. ABC News reports that before the judge read the sentence, Fata apologized to his patients, stating that he failed those who went to him “seeking compassion and care.”
“I have violated the Hippocratic oath and violated the trust of my patients. I do not know how I can heal the wound. I do not know how to express the sorrow and the shame.”
Sue Lane, whose husband, Ronnie, died of lung cancer five years ago after being treated by Fata, told the Detroit News that the judge “should have put him away for life.” Lane was one of many victims and family members who attended the sentencing on Friday who hoped the doctor would live out his natural life behind bars.
During his time as a practicing doctor, Fata owned Fata Michigan Hematology Oncology, with at least six offices located throughout Detroit. Newsweek reports that his medical practice served over 16,000 patients since 2005, and an alarming number of his patients were either harmed or died from getting chemotherapy drugs they did not need.
Although Fata is now in prison, his time in court is not over. The doctor forfeited $17.6 million that he fraudulently collected from both Medicare and private insurance companies will be put in a fund for patients. A restitution hearing is expected to take place in the near future, with money from the fund distributed to patients who suffered at the hands of the Michigan doctor.
The once-prominent Michigan cancer doctor is expected to serve his sentence at a low-security prison, possibly in the very state he duped patients into thinking they had cancer when, in fact, they were cancer-free.
[Image: Arab American News]