A federal judge on July 10, 2015 sentenced a Detroit-area doctor who admitted performing unnecessary procedures on hundreds of cancer patients to 45 years in prison.
Dr. Farid Fata, who pleaded guilty in September, 2014 to more than a dozen healthcare and financial fraud charges, was accused of administering unnecessary infusions or injections on 553 patients and submitting about $34 million (Ksh3.5 billion) of fraudulent claims to Medicare and private insurers.
For example, Barbara Laboissonniere’s father, Sydney, received chemo he didn’t need from Fata, Fox News reported. Doctors originally told Sydney, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, to enjoy his last four to six months with his family. Fata, however, allegedly promised to prolong his life to 12 months. After aggressive rounds of chemo with only week breaks in between, Sydney died on the treatment.
“The way my father died was very unnecessary and very traumatic for my family,” Laboisonnier told Fox.
“Dr. Fata did not care for patients; he exploited them as commodities. He over-treated, under-treated and outright lied to patients about whether they had cancer so that he could maximize his own profits,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a news release.
U.S. District Court Judge Paul Borman in Detroit also ordered Fata to forfeit $17.6 million (Ksh1.8 billion), the U.S. Justice Department said in the release.
A resident of Oakland Township, Michigan, Fata pleaded guilty to 13 counts of healthcare fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks and two counts of money laundering.
Fata admitted to prescribing and administering unnecessary aggressive chemotherapy, cancer treatments and infusion therapies to patients to increase his billings to Medicare and private insurance companies.
He also admitted to soliciting kickbacks from a hospice and home healthcare service in exchange for his referral of patients to those facilities.