“Patients were not people. They were profit centers.” (Federal Prosecution)
“I have violated the Hippocratic oath and violated the trust of my patients,” the disgraced physician said.”I do not know how to express the sorrow and the shame.” (Immigrant physician Farid Fata told the court)
Sadly, to the literally hundreds of this madman’s victims – dozens of whom watched the proceedings in a U.S. District Court – Fata’s apology means nothing. Those hundreds of medically injured patients – that is, those still alive – must now live with their own personal outcomes of unnecessary treatments. Many of Fata’s victims were, as Geraldine Parkin, the wife of one patient stated in court, “tortured until their last breath.”
Consider just two of more than 500 victims of this lunatic:
Patty Hester – She first met with Fata five years ago at the suggestion of another physician. A blood test revealed that her white blood cell count was lower than normal, which could indicate cancer. Fata was well-known as a cancer specialist.
“I think he’s guilty of the most cruel thing that a human being can do to another human being.” (Doctor Soe Maunglay , who once worked with Fata)
Hester, already on staff at a local hospital, had no reason to suspect anything other than what she had been told – namely, that Fata was “tops in his field.” And she was understandably traumatized when Fata informed her she had myelodysplastic syndrome – a deadly bone marrow condition.
“He told me, ‘You need to start on chemo, like, immediately,'” Hester testified.
“Farid Fata: I hate you. You are repulsive. You have the nerve to call yourself a doctor? You disgust me. You are a monster. You are evil. You poisoned, tortured and murdered my dad.” (Laura Stedtfeld, whose father, Piero Zanotti, died in 2014)
Just some of the Fatas’ wealth, discovered by federal investigators:
Madison Bus. Park
Because of her work in the ER, Hester was well aware of the devastating effects of chemotherapy, so she refused. Against Fata’s strong advice, she chose instead a protocol of iron supplements and then plasma treatments. She was still taking the extremely expensive plasma treatments the day her co-workers at the hospital called her over to watch breaking news on the waiting room TV: her cancer doctor had just been arrested.
Not long after, another doctor assured her she had no cancer at all.
Chris Sneary – Faced Fata last Tuesday when he was allowed to give a victim impact statement in court. Sneary first met Fata in 2010, when he needed treatment for testicular cancer. For a three-year period that ended in 2013, Mr. Sneary underwent 40 days of chemotherapy and many dozens of other procedures.
“I gave total trust to this man to get me and my family through this journey,” Sneary told the court.
But then, like so many others, after Fata’s arrest was announced on television news, he learned that he had been – in the words of other physicians – “grossly over-treated,” with more severe chemotherapy than was necessary; far more expensive than it could have been and worse, he underwent a totally unnecessary surgery to remove his testicle.
“This man took full advantage of my trust, my fear of dying and my top-of-the-line health insurance,” Sneary said, as he cried.
According to the prosecution, Fata had nearly 1,200 patients and took in over $60,000,000 from Medicare. He billed insurance providers at least $150,000,000.
“(The fraud) hasn’t happened on a scale like this before anywhere,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Cohen. She called Fata’s actions “heinous and sadistically cruel.”
In the meantime, Fata’s wife Samar, whose job title was chief financial officer of the scam medical clinics, has fled to Lebanon with their three children.
As he sentenced Fata to spend the next four decades in federal prison, U.S. District Judge Paul Borman said this:
“You shut down whatever compassion you had as a doctor and switched it to making money.”
Here’s another view:
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The only aspect of U.S. immigration management more appallingly stupid than it already is, is the fact that we actually encourage foreign-born physicians to emigrate here, and then leave them totally unsupervised as they go about their criminal business, regardless of their cultural affiliations.
Fata has lived in Michigan for 10 years and became a naturalized citizen in 2009. He graduated from Lebanese University in 1992 and – as so many other emigrant physicians – quickly learned how ridiculously easy it is to rob the American healthcare system blind. Had he and his wife not gotten so brazenly greedy, they likely would never had been caught at all. Fortunately, their own medical staff were unable to stomach the garbage behavior of what the Fata’s passed off as “medical care.” His own staff turned him in.
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