07:15 GMT +315 December 2018
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    Office of Dr. Farid Fata in Oak Park, Mich. (File)

    Cash-Crazed Doctor Gave Hundreds of Healthy Patients Fake Cancer Diagnoses

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    More than 500 healthy Americans became the unwitting victims of Dr. Farid Fata, a Detroit-area oncologist who intentionally misdiagnosed them with cancer to fatten his own wallet. His sentencing hearing began Monday.

    Made to believe they were severely ill, Fata's patients agreed to pay for unnecessary treatments and even underwent chemotherapy, NBC News reported. Those who actually had cancer were also lied to about their survival chances and were overcharged for additional — and unnecessary — treatments.

    "He told me I would die from cancer or a secondary infection," said Patty Hester, who was diagnosed with a cancer-like condition called myelodysplastic syndrome by Fata in 2010 and found out her diagnosis was bogus after Fata's arrest.

    "There was no evidence that I had MDS," she said. "I do not have MDS."

    Some 9000 needless injections or infusions, in addition to radiation treatments prescribed for healthy individuals have been traced to the oncologist, who left many of his patients with broken health, NBC News reported.

    US Attorney Barbara McQuade called Fata's "the most egregious" health care fraud case her office has seen. He not only bilked the government — which is typical in such cases — but he also harmed patients, she added.

    Fata pleaded guilty to fraud in September, admitting he raked in millions of dollars from insurance companies, and now faces up to 175 years in prison, according to federal prosecutors.  The sentencing hearing for his case began on Monday.

    Fata's lawyers have asked for a 25-year sentence.


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