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US Doctor Gave Chemotherapy to Healthy People

Update Date: Sep 18, 2014 12:38 PM EDT
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A Michigan doctor pleaded guilty to prescribing chemotherapy and other oncological treatments to people who did not need them on Tuesday.

CBS News reported that 49-year old Dr. Farid Fata who practices in Detroit pleaded guilty to more than dozen charges including fraud and money laundering. His motive: make claims from insurers after prescribing unnecessary treatments. The guilty plea came a month before Fata was to be put on trial. Fata is a native of Lebanon but was naturalized as a US citizen in 2009. He runs the popular Michigan Hematology Oncology Centers with six branch offices.

According to USA Today, Fata's activities came to light in 2010 when a prospective employee noticed wrongdoings at one of his offices. Angela Swantek, who interviewed with one of Fata's branches, wrote to the state exposing his activities after noticing inappropriate treatment practices at the branch. However the state did not take any action.

"I handed them Dr. Fata on a platter in 2010 and they did absolutely nothing. I was elated when federal authorities charged him in 2013," Swantek told USA Today. She was present in the district court during Fata's confessions. Fata also misdiagnosed healthy people besides misguiding patients witbh expensive treatments.

Fata pleaded guilty to 16 counts, admitting he knew what he was doing when prescribing treatments. He reportedly said his prescriptions were medically unnecessary.

Fox News said Fata submitted bills worth $225 million for cancer treatments over six years and has been paid $91 million by Medicare alone.

Post his shocking confessions, prosecutors said they would seek life for him in prison.

"We weren't interested in bargaining anything away. His conduct was so egregious. It wasn't a matter of stealing money but torturing patients by lying to them about having cancer. ... Chemotherapy is poison intended to kill cancer cells," said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade.

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