Doctor nailed for horrific fraud and money laundering


page image

A macabre scheme to defraud Medicare and insurance companies has come to an end. Dr. Farid Fata, a once-respected Michigan oncologist, was sentenced last week to 45 years in prison for administering chemotherapy to over 500 patients who either did not have cancer or did not need chemo.

Fata was convicted of numerous counts of fraud and two counts of money laundering. Federal authorities discovered that his fraudulent claims totaled more than $34 million. As part of the sentencing, Fata pled guilty to 16 counts that included the money laundering, health care fraud, and conspiracy to receive kickbacks.

According to federal prosecutors, Fata used various tactics that included prescribing chemo to patients without cancer, insisting on chemo for hospice-ready patients, extending chemo treatments well beyond appropriate treatment cycles, and so on. Victims of Fata’s crimes and their families attended sentencing and described at length the nightmare of health problems and emotional trauma wrought by Fata’s crimes.

According to court records, Fata submitted approximately $225 million in claims to Medicare over a span of six years. A whistleblower inside Fata’s practice first exposed the scheme, and investigators from the Justice Department, the IRS, the Health and Human Services Department, and the IRS participated in the investigation. Fata perpetrated his crimes within a cancer treatment clinic he owned and operated across seven locations. He also owned a diagnostic testing facility to which he funneled business. In addition to his own operation, Fata also solicited kickbacks from other healthcare businesses for referring his patients to them.