DETROIT, MI - Think you may be a victim of health care fraud? Well you aren’t the only one. A prominent Metro Detroit physician was recently sentenced to 45 years after he was found guilty of prescribing chemotherapy treatment to thousands of patients without probable cause.
The once prominent physician, Dr. Farid Fata sat in a courtroom in downtown Detroit last summer awaiting sentencing for over-treating, under-treating and mistreating hundreds of patients in addition to insurance fraud. Expert witness Robert Sobieray, a former patient of the doctor and present at the hearing, described the treatment the doctor recommended for his supposed “metastatic bone cancer.”
Associate professor, Dr. David Steensma of Harvard Medical School and cancer physician testified for the prosecutors stating,
“I’m not sure what they thought they were radiating.”
Sobieray, who was misled about the side effects of the chemo drug, Zometa, stated in front of the U.S. District Judge Paul Borman’s court during the sentencing last summer:
"I have one tooth left. I had to have pieces of my gums and teeth cut out."
About 22 victim's statements were read last year. Some called Fata an “evil monsters” and others dropped his credentials saying he no longer deserved the title of “doctor.”
Fata, a married father of three, plead guilty back in September of 2014 to one count of conspiring to pay and receive kickbacks, 13 counts of health care fraud and two counts of money laundering. Federal prosecutors said Fata had over 500 victims and has collected millions of dollars.
The hearing, which began on a Monday went on for a week with hundreds of victims giving their statements. Prosecutors aimed for a 175 year sentence but Fata’s attorneys fought for just a 25 year sentence. Fata received 45 years.
"One question was asked over and over, 'How was Dr. Fata allowed to get away with this?' In the pending civil litigation we hope to answer that question and hold accountable everyone who played a role in this epidemic of medical malpractice." said the personal injury lawyer who represented several of Fata’s victims in civil court.