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Judge orders $9 million bond for Dr. Farid Fata in medicare fraud case
WXYZ.com Web Staff , James Kiertzner
11:37 AM, Aug 13, 2013
6:39 AM, Aug 14, 2013
DETROIT (WXYZ) - A judge has ruled that Dr. Farid Fata must post a $9 million bond in order to be released from custody.
However, a hearing must be held before Fata can be released to determine the source of the funds that will be used for the bond.
The ruling came Tuesday afternoon, following a morning hearing before US District Judge Sean Cox.
During the hearing, Dr. Fata's defense attorney Christopher Andreoff argued that an order by Judge David Lawson's that was issued last night should stand. That order said that Doctor Fata's bond should be set for $170,000.
The government argued that Fata's bond should be raised to $9 million and the defense should have to prove that any funds used are from legitimate sources.
Members of Fata's family were in court today to testify the money will not come from money obtained from illegitimate sources - meaning from the alleged crime.
During the hearing, FBI agent John Scarbarough testified he's been analyzing Dr. Fata's financial records and list of assets for a week since the raid.
He said the government has seized $7 million in assets and placed liens of $2 million. However, he also said the government has millions they can not take control of - amounting $9 million total for both Dr. Fata and his wife, Samar, who was in court and is not charged in the case.
It is the government's contention that Fata will use that $9 million to flea the court's jurisdiction. Dr. Fata is from Lebanon and has family there.
The government is also arguing the Fata is a danger to community as long as he has a medical license and should have no contact with patients, provide consultations and administer prescription drugs.
Fata is accused of deliberately misdiagnosing and deliberately mistreating patients, many who sought second opinions and were told their chemotherapy was not needed - either because their cancer was in remission or because the patients were in hospice and should be living out their time in comfort.
Defense attorneys told the court that the government has not shown how much money Dr. Fata made in the alleged Medicare fraud.
They also said Dr. Fata has been in practice for ten years, has privileges in 7 hospitals and treated patients with other doctors and staff. They say his 1,200 patients and 7 clinics are currently in limbo.
Fata is currently locked up in the Wayne County Jail.