A 50 year-old Detroit cancer doctor was sentenced to a 45 year jail term for Medicare fraud, conspiracy to pay and money laundering after he intentionally misdiagnosed over 500 patients with cancer, applying chemotherapy to completely healthy patients, amassing over $17.6 million for Medicare and private insurance but ruining their lives in the process.
The case was deemed by the Justice Department as the “most serious case of fraud in the history of the United States”, at least in scope and when considering the severity of the harm which unnecessary cancer treatments inflicted upon healthy individuals.
Farid Fata was also responsible for improper treatment of legitimate cancer patients, to whom at his private medical clinic, to whom he either offered insufficient dosage of drugs to launder Medicare funds, or offered aggressive treatments in hope of a quick remission of the disease and lowered treatment costs.
The Detroit medical practitioner’s scheme was unveiled in 2013, when an assistant working at his clinic finally had enough of Fata’s misdiagnoses and told federal agents about his practices. Fata’s clinic was closed down immediately and all of the people treated there in the preceding years were contacted and informed about the heinous deed.
Unfortunately, the damage was already done for many of Fata’s former patients. Those who were given false cancer diagnoses were still bearing – and will probably do so until the end of their lives – the heavy side-effects of unnecessary chemotherapy, including nerve damage, organ damage, lost teeth and hair or a severely weakened immune system.
Fata was also found responsible of administering chemotherapy to some patients who were detected with terminal phases of the disease, and therefore could not be helped by it – ensuring that they died a painful and decaying death.
His trial began last September, with him pleading guilty to all counts brought before him. He was ultimately found to have been related to 553 different cases of either intentionally wrong diagnosis or medical malpractice. The final hearings involved two cancer experts and 20 victims or relatives of Fata’s former deceased patients, after which US District Judge Paul Borman decided to sentence him to 45 in prison without the possibility of parole.
However, his victims were dissatisfied with the sentence, which gives Fata the chance of actually being free again – albeit at a very advanced age. They were also unimpressed by the former medical practioners’ pleas for redemption and forgiveness, as acknowledged violating the medical code and betraying the trust of his patients.
The $17.6 million which Fata made from his horrid sham will be offered to the victims and families of his former patients, with further hearings to establish the amounts each will receive.
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