Metro Detroit Cancer Doctor Who Gave Unneeded Treatments Will Get Hearing

March 25, 2019 - 4:38 pm

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - A Detroit-area cancer doctor serving 45-year prison sentence for putting patients through needless treatments has persuaded a judge to grant him a new hearing.

Ex- oncologist Farid Fata, who practiced primarily in Oakland County, wants to set aside his 2014 guilty plea on the grounds that his guilty plea was a result of bad advice. 

He claims lawyer Christopher Andreoff assured him that he would get a shorter sentence if he pleaded guilty to fraud. But the government didn't seek his cooperation, and he didn't get a break.

Andreoff denies telling Fata that he could get him a 20-year sentence, saying the evidence against Fata was "overwhelming" and the doctor wasn't reluctant to plead guilty.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Grand said he will hear testimony on July 30 about Fata's claim of ineffective legal counsel.

In a sentencing memorandum, the U.S. Attorney’s Office called Fata “the most egregious fraudster in the history of the country, measured not only by the millions of dollars he stole but by the harm he inflicted on his victims.”

Some of Fata’s patients were allegedly exposed to powerful drugs over and over, despite having no cancer. In a 2013 indictment, prosecutors said Fata gave one particular patient 155 chemo treatments over two-and-a-half years — even though the patient was cancer-free.

The government said there were 553 patient victims in total, along with Medicare and insurers, and 9,000 unnecessary infusions or injections were given.

Separately, the government is asking a judge to approve $4.2 million in payments to Fata's victims or their families; about half that amount for funeral expenses.

Fata, a native of Lebanon, owned and operated Michigan Hematology Oncology Centers with offices in Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, Troy and Oak Park. His medical license has been revoked.