More charges filed against cancer specialist Fata

Rochester Hills, Mich. (WXYZ) - A grand jury hands down 13 new charges on a Detroit-area cancer specialist accused of giving unnecessary treatments to patients.

The new charges against Dr. Farid Fata include fraud, conspiracy to receive kickbacks and fraud during the citizenship process. Dr. Fata has been in custody for six weeks  A judge will consider lowering his bail at an Oct. 2 hearing.

7 Action News spoke with a patient's wife who believes they were victims of the kickback scheme.

Two days before 66-year-old Larry Hicks died from lung cancer, Dr Fata threatened to stop treating him said his wife Donna Hicks.

"I was in a state of shock.  I couldn't believe a doctor would do that, especially in the presence of a dying patient," said Donna.

Donna moved out of state after her husband died in 2010.  She said she they told Dr. Fata they wanted to use Hospice of Michigan, but Dr. Fata would not hear it, and wanted them to use the services Guardian Angel Home Care.

"He said, well you should have gone with guardian angels because they know him.  And he said, well, if this what you want, then I can't be his doctor anymore," said Donna.

According to federal authorities, Dr. Fata referred patients Guardian Angel Home Care, Inc. in exchange for kickbacks on three separate occasions totaling $3,000 dollars.

"False.  100 percent false," said Ziad Kassab, Vice President of Guaridan Angel Home Care, Inc.

7 Action News spoke with Kassab at the company's headquarters in Rochester Hills.   

"We are hurt.  These allegations are not true at all.  Please don't believe what you're hearing," said Kassab.

Kassab refuted all of the allegations in the indictment and said that Dr. Fata was one of about a dozen medical directors.  He only held the position for maybe one year and patients could choose to go where they wanted for home care services.

"We're surprised as everyone else.  We didn't know anything about his practices or allegations until we saw it on TV," said Kassab.

The kickback allegations are just one portion of the new charges.  The federal government said that at least four of Dr. Fata's patients being treated for cancer did not have cancer.

The government said one patient who did not have cancer had 155 chemotherapy treatments.

Federal authorities from the beginning have said that Dr. Fata misdiagnosed patients and ordered unnecessary treatments to make money off of Medicare and other insurance programs.

Fata could lose his U.S. citizenship if the government proves he was committing health fraud when he applied in 2008.

Dr. Fata's attorney Mark Kriger would not talk on camera about the charges but told 7 Action News by phone, "I do not believe it is appropriate to comment on pending cases. I believe the appropriate forum is the courtroom."

Attorney's for victims of Dr. Fata and families of victims have an open meeting at the Concorde Inn in Rochester HIlls Thursday from 5 pm-8 pm.

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