DETROIT (WWJ) – The charges just keep piling up for an Oakland County cancer doctor accused of healthcare fraud to the tune of $35 million.
A federal grand jury has handed down yet another charge against Dr. Farid Fata — who is accused of giving chemotherapy to patients who didn’t need it — alleging that he lied on an application to become a United States citizen.
According to a second superseding indictment, Fata, a native of Lebanon, applied to become an American citizen in March 2008. One question on the application asked “Have you ever committed a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?” Dr. Fata checked the “No” box.
Click here to read the indictment (.pdf format)
The government said Fata was clearly lying, as he knew at the time he had committed crimes of Medicaid and healthcare fraud.
In Sept. 2008, Fata was interviewed by a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officer regarding his naturalization application. The indictment says Fata, under oath, again repeated his false answer.
The government says Fata lied yet again in March 2009 when he was asked the same question for a third time during a notice of naturalization oath ceremony. Farad was granted U.S. Citizenship in April 2009.
Prosecutors say 48-year-old Fata, whose facing a Feb. 4 trial, intentionally misdiagnosed patients and ordered unnecessary treatments to enrich himself through insurance programs. The government said Fata’s scheme started around August 2007. Fata denies all wrongdoing.
Some of Fata’s patients were allegedly exposed to powerful drugs over and over, despite having no cancer. In a first superseding indictment, prosecutors say Fata gave one of his patients 155 chemo treatments over two-and-a-half years — even though the patient was cancer-free. Other patients, they say, were pumped with unnecessary blood therapy and iron treatments.
Fata is charged with 17 counts of healthcare fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks, and one count of unlawful procurement of naturalization. He’s looking at a lengthy prison sentence and possible deportation if convicted as charged.