DETROIT (WWJ) – A federal judge has raised bond to $9 million in the case of a Detroit-area cancer specialist accused of intentionally misdiagnosing patients.
“This is one of the highest bonds I’ve ever seen in any case,” said WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langton.
Earlier Tuesday, Judge Sean Cox heard testimony from the FBI that Dr. Farid Fata had roughly 9.4 million dollars in assets available to him — and Langton says the judge obviously thought the doctor — a native of Lebanon — was a flight risk.
The government says Fata, who owns Michigan Hematology Oncology, ripped off Medicare for millions of dollars by giving chemotherapy to patients who didn’t need it and diagnosing cancer when the illness wasn’t apparent. [View a copy of the complaint].
Cox wrote, in his 13-page opinion, that this is not the typical type of health care fraud case he’s seen in the past, as the doctor is accused of actually injuring patients.
Tuesday’s ruling comes after, in a filing Monday, prosecutors requested that a $170,000 bond be raised and asked that Fata prove the funds came from a “legitimate” source.
In his filing, defense lawyer Christopher Andreoff countered, his client is a U.S. citizen, with few ties to his native country, and would not flee.
Fata faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Tuesday afternoon, he remained behind bars.