Dr. Farid Fata collected millions of dollars by giving at least 533 people unnecessary treatments and telling many they had cancer when they didn’t, then charging the insurers.
Fata pleaded guilty to 16 charges, including fraud conspiracy and money-laundering and the Detroit-based doctor is now being forced to listen to the harrowing ordeals of people whose lives he ruined, while the judge considers a sentence.
Federal prosecutors have asked for a 175-year sentence, while Fata’s attorneys are arguing for no more than 25 years. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Victims including Terry Spurlock (right, and his wife Nikii outside Detroit court) arrived to address the court with their trauma. Spurlock’s immune system broke down after unnecessary treatment.
2. The group of 36 people was just a fraction of the 533 people Dr. Farid Fata wrongly diagnosed with cancer in a bid to scam medical insurers out of millions of dollars. Experts said he administered “stunning” drug doses.
More than 30 ex-patients and family members were bused in to attend the hearing on Monday, which could last for days. On Tuesday, a member of each family stood up to explain their trauma.
That was the first time many of the victims had seen Fata in years. One of them, Robert Sobieray, never had cancer. Yet, two years of treatment caused him to lose all of his teeth and he is left with a permanent twitch.
Karen Baldwin’s husband died while being treated by Dr. Fata in 2006.
Steve Skrzypczak underwent chemotherapy, when he didn’t even have cancer.
3. Ellen Piligian speaks about her father, a former patient of Dr. Farid Fata, who fell victim to the scam.
4. Liz Lupo, second from left, shows a sign in honor of her mother, Marianne Lupo, who died in Fata’s care.
Terry Spurlock, 52, who received three more years of treatments after a tumor on his neck disappeared, said:
This is a small fraction of the people this guy has hurt. He gave me so much treatment, it stopped my immune system.
Geraldine Parkin, 54, who organized the charter bus, said her husband Tim is a survivor of a non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but excessive treatment has left him with other chronic problems. She said:
I wanted to knock that smirk off [Fata’s] face.
5. Dr. Farid Fata admitted to putting cancer patients through unnecessary treatments to cash in.
6. Oncology nurse Angela Swantek says she complained to investigators about Dr. Fata in 2010.
On Monday, the court heard how Fata administered “stunning” doses of a powerful, expensive drug, exposing patients to life-threatening infections.
Dr. Dan Longo, a Harvard medical professor, said that a drug called Rituximab can weaken the immune system if it is overused.
It’s normally given eight times for aggressive lymphoma. However, one of Dr. Fata’s patients got it 94 times, while another got it 76 times.
The prosecution said that 553 people have been identified as victims, in addition to four insurance companies. More than 9,000 unnecessary infusions or injections were administered.
The complaint states that Dr. Fata defrauded Medicare — the federally funded healthcare program — out of about $35 million over a two-year period.
7. A victim calls a former Michigan cancer doctor “monster and master of deceit” at his sentencing — an ABC News report.
8. A man given unnecessary chemo: “I hope the doctor rots in jail for life.”
Read more: NBC News.
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