Saturday, July 11, 2015

Doctor who gave unnecessary cancer treatment to 553 patients - sentenced to 45 years.

 CNN    Detroit-area doctor who authorities say gave cancer treatment drugs to patients who did not need them -- including some who didn't actually have cancer -- was sentenced Friday to 45 years in prison.
Federal prosecutors called him the "most egregious fraudster in the history of this country." To Fata, they said, "patients were not people. They were profit centers."

Fata forfeited $17.6 million that he collected from Medicare and private insurance companies. Some 553 patients received medically unnecessary infusions or injections, prosecutors said.
The hematologist-oncologist gave an emotional apology in court, saying he was "ashamed" of his actions.

"I have violated the Hippocratic oath and violated the trust of my patients," Fata said, according to CNN affiliate WDIV. "I do not know how I can heal the wound. I do not know how to express the sorrow and the shame." [...]

update  his wife allegedly fled to Lebanon with $10s M.

Additional background information

CBS News         The government says a man who took an oath to do no harm instead turned more than 500 of his patients into victims in a shocking case of medical fraud.

Courtroom sketches could not adequately capture the anguish of the victims Tuesday as one by one, they confronted the cancer doctor who prescribed aggressive chemotherapy for patients he knew were not ill, and for those who were, ordering treatments that were excessive while billing medicare $34 million. [...]

Fata has already pleaded guilty to fraud and other charges. A memo from prosecutors demanding a life sentence said Fata would tell his patients they risked death without him. Telling one: "Your life or your money."

From Laura Stedtefeld, whose father died in Fata's care: "You poisoned, tortured and murdered my dad."[..]

A good question is how he got away with this and the answer is Dr. Fata was a well-respected physician backed up by other well-respected physicians and a prominent local hospital. But it was a doctor who worked for him, who ultimately blew the whistle on his actions.

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