Physician claims innocence after admitting he administered unnecessary chemotherapy to patients

Farid Fata, MD, a Detroit-area hematologist-oncologist, was convicted in 2015 of purposely misdiagnosing patients with cancer and administering medically unnecessary chemotherapy to them. As of last week, more than 500 victims of Dr. Fata had submitted claims against him for unnecessary chemotherapy, funeral expenses for loved ones, medical bills and other expenses, according to Kaiser Health News.

In September 2014, Dr. Fata admitted he prescribed and administered unnecessary aggressive chemotherapy, cancer treatments, intravenous iron and other infusion therapies to patients to increase his billing to Medicare and private payers. He also admitted to soliciting kickbacks from home healthcare companies in exchange for his referral of patients to those organizations.

Dr. Fata, nicknamed "Dr. Death" by his victims, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of healthcare fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks and two counts of money laundering. Through the fraud scheme, he submitted approximately $225 million in claims to Medicare from August 2007 to July 2013. In July 2015, Dr. Fata was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

However, the 51-year-old physician now claims he is innocent and that he pleaded guilty in 2014 while under duress. Dr. Fata told Kaiser Health News he plans to file a habeas corpus petition, which will require a judge to determine if his imprisonment is lawful.

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