Millions available for victims of crooked cancer doctor Farid Fata

Posted at 11:00 PM, Oct 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-04 18:37:49-04

Feds are offering nearly $12 million to the victims of Dr. Farid Fata.

The money is being used to help heal the suffering he caused with sometimes deadly cancer treatments.

"I have a weakened immune system and the cause of that is three years too much chemo," says former patient Terry Spurlock.

For Spurlock, the fight against cancer has come with a high price. Both to his health, and his finances after years of unnecessary treatments at the hands of Dr. Farid Fata.

It was back in June of 2008 when he was first diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Now, he says, "I get a cold that will last a week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks -- turns into bronchitis then pneumonia. I've had it lots of times. I get IV-IG treatments again, but only get 50 mg instead of 500 mg he used to give me."

His story is similar to countless others.

"They are reliving the memories of Fata's mistreatment. They are physically impaired some of them. They are emotionally traumatized by his mistreatment," says Asst. U.S. Attorney Sarah Resnick-Cohen. Cohen is the federal prosecutor who helped put the crooked cancer doctor away.

Sentenced July 2015, for crimes that began as early as 2005, Fata is now serving 45 years in federal prison.

"About 17,000 patients passed thru his practice. Unfortunately, we can't turn back time. My wish is that we could" says Resnick-Cohen.

But, what they are doing on a historic scale, is taking Fata's funds seized during the case and using them to help victims recover costs of copays, other out of pocket expenses and even funeral bills that loved ones have paid for those who did not survive.

Resnick-Cohen tells Action News, "At this time, we have approximately 11.9 million dollars to distribute."

Thousands of patients are now eligible, but applications must be submitted by November 14th, a recently extended deadline.

"You do not have to prove or demonstrate you were actually mistreated. Simply, by the fact you are a former patient you are entitled to reimbursement. If your family member was a patient you can submit for reimbursement for those funeral expenses" says Resnick-Cohen.

For Terry, it's amounted to a badly needed break in an otherwise hopeless situation.

"I had to file bankruptcy and lost my job. Thank God my wife worked. It's something good for the patients to get something back that we've lost. We have to do the best we can with all our resources to bring as much peace as we can to all the victims and their family members" he says.

Resnick-Cohen adds "We have never seen anything like this. The purposeful mistreatment of people is unprecedented."

In the end, the crimes continue plaguing the lives that were impacted. That will undoubtedly never change, despite emotional and physical care that continues to this day.

"I literally have gone half the winter sick. Spring. Falls. All in the past eight years. He just did it so he could collect the money. I hope every single person takes advantage of it. If you paid any type of deductible I recommend to fill the papers out," says Spurlock.

The call center toll free number is (877) 202-3282. Common Ground Crisis Center in Pontiac has also opened it's doors, with victim advocates and accountants providing free in person assistance.