Michigan Doctor Sentenced to 45 Years for Cancer Fraud Scheme
Dr. Farid Fata was sentenced to 45 years in a federal prison by U.S. District Judge Paul Borman. The sentence was greater than the 25 years that the defense advocated for, but well under the 175-year maximum requested by the prosecution. Dr. Fata, who had built an empire of upscale cancer clinics, intentionally misdiagnosed patients and illegally billed Medicare for the treatment. He grossly over-treated, under-treated, and misdiagnosed hundreds of patients by telling them they had cancer when they did not, giving too much or improper treatment to others who did have cancer, and continuing to give chemotherapy to terminal patients who no longer needed it.
Dr. Fata was arrested in 2013 for the health care fraud. He pleaded guilty to fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. About 550 patients have been identified as victims, with $34.7 million in billings to patients and insurance companies, and $17.6 million paid for work Dr. Fata admitted was unnecessary.
Furthermore, Dr. Fata ran a scheme from 2009 to 2014, which involved billing the government for medically unnecessary cancer and blood treatments to collect millions of dollars through his medical businesses, including Michigan Hematology Oncology Centers, with offices in Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, Troy and Oak Park.
Prosecutors say Dr. Fata was notorious for treating all his patients personally and keeping other medical professionals away. Federal Judge Paul Borman says the guidelines call for a prison sentence anywhere from 30 years to life. The U.S. Attorney’s office said Dr. Fata, “is the most egregious fraudster in the history of the country, measured not only by the millions of dollars he stole but by the harm he inflicted on his victims.” Such fraud “hasn’t happened on a scale like this before anywhere,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Resnick Cohen, who called Dr. Fata’s actions “heinous and sadistically cruel” in a CBS Detroit article.
Posted by: Katila L. Howard (Summer Associate)
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Best Lawyers® 2020
Congratulations to the attorneys of the Health Care practice group at Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC for their inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America 2020 edition. Firm-wide, 42 lawyers were listed. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation and as lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Health Care practice group members listed in Best Lawyers are as follows:
- Gilbert M. Frimet, Southfield
- Richard C. Kraus, Lansing
- Gary J. McRay, Lansing
- Jack A. Siebers, Grand Rapids/Holland
- Jennifer B. Van Regenmorter, Holland
To see the full list of Foster Swift attorneys listed in Best Lawyers 2020, click here.