A Michigan doctor has been arrested and charged with fraud. He is accused of intentionally misdiagnosing patients with cancer and ordering chemotherapy for others who were in remission or had no chance of surviving — all to collect millions from the Medicare program.
U. S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said that Dr. Farid Fata is charged with health care fraud for his role in a scheme to submit false claims to Medicare for treatments that were medically unnecessary. McQuade indicated the fraud scheme involves $35 million, according to WXYZ.
Fata faced a federal magistrate Tuesday afternoon. Assistant U. S. attorneys assigned to the case argued he is a flight risk because he has access to about $14 million in liquid assets and a residence in Lebanon. The magistrate is temporarily detaining Fata until another hearing can be held on Thursday.
Defense attorney Christopher Andreoff said the fraud allegations are based so far on staff interviews at Fata’s Michigan Hematology Oncology Centers and are not from patients.
“It’s premature to say he’s harmed anybody,” Andreoff said to the Port Huron Times Herald.
One of Fata’s patients told a 7 Action News investigator that she is now going to get a second opinion.
“I trusted him,” Terri Mitchell said, but after more than seven years of treatment with Fata she is starting to doubt her diagnosis. “I can’t understand – I’ve talked to many people and they’ve said I don’t understand why you’re still on Retuximab for the last seven years – cause he told me at the beginning it would be a year of treatment and two years of maintenance.”
If convicted, Fata faces up to 20 years behind bars.