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You got cancer, You got cancer. Doctor accused of misdiagnosing cancer patient held on $9 million bond in Medicare scam

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 16th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The trust a patient places in their doctor is usually inviolate. That trust has been torn asunder by a Detroit oncologist who is accused of subjecting his patients to unnecessary chemotherapy in an elaborate Medicare scam that went on for at least two years. Dr. Farid Fata bond has been set at $9 million in the $35 million scam.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Judge Sean Cox set the ruling after a hearing where prosecutors asked him to increase Fata's $170,000 bond, based on assets available to him and his wife.

From Oakland Township in Michigan, the 48-year-old doctor was originally from Lebanon. Fata was ordered to surrender his passports. The judge also ordered that if he made bond, he would be unable to practice medicine.

Defense attorney Christopher Andreoff requested a much lower bond, arguing that his client was a U.S citizen and that there was no risk of him fleeing.

Andreoff says the claims against his clients are false, saying, "The government has not retained an expert to give an opinion that there was a mistreatment or misdiagnosis, or unnecessary tests given to any patient."

The owner of Michigan Hematology Oncology Centers, Fata is also accused of diagnosing cancer when it wasn't apparent in patients. Fata reportedly defrauded federally funded Medicare out of about $35 million over a two-year period.

Arrested earlier this week and taken to Wayne County Jail in Detroit, federal agents raided his multiple offices in the Detroit area. Investigators also seized his medical records as they build a case against him.

"Violating a patient's trust and placing them at risk through fraudulent abuse of our nation's health care system is deplorable and a crime which the FBI takes most seriously," FBI Special Agent Robert D. Foley, III said in a news release,

Angela Swantek, an oncology nurse who spent time at one of Fata's clinics said she had first complained to investigators about his alleged wrongdoings in 2010. "I don't know how he's gotten away with it for this long," she told reporters.

"I was disgusted. I got in the car, I was still sitting in the parking lot and I was truly almost in tears just because of what I saw and how patients were getting their chemotherapy."

Fata could spend up to 20 years in jail if convicted.

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