Michigan oncologist Farid Fata falsely told his patients they had cancer and then billed their insurance companies for the unnecessary chemotherapy he prescribed. After receiving chemotherapy, the patients suffered – and continue to suffer – from several permanent ailments including organ damage and immune system depletion. One patient, Teddy Howard, had to have a liver transplant as a result of the chemo.
It was Fata’s office manager, George Karadsheh, who tipped off federal investigators who quickly shut down Fata’s clinics and arrested the doctor. In September 2014, Fata pleaded guilty to 13 counts of health care fraud, 2 counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy. He admitted there was mistreatment in 553 cases. Fata was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison and is forced to pay $17.6 million in restitution. At his sentencing in July 2015, Fata said: “I misused my talents. and permitted this sin to enter me because of power and greed. My quest for power is self-destructive.” Many of his former patients and their families are telling their stories and voicing their anger on Dateline NBC on January 17 at 8pm.