Judge to rule on higher bond in cancer doc's fraud case

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit-area cancer specialist accused of giving chemotherapy to patients who didn’t need it is a flight risk and a danger to the community, a federal prosecutor said Tuesday in asking a judge to order a $9 million bond and bar the doctor from practicing medicine.

Catherine Dick made the requests of U.S. District Court Judge Sean Cox during a bond hearing in Detroit federal court in the case of Dr. Farid Fata, who is charged with intentionally misdiagnosing patients.

Defense lawyer Christopher Andreoff, who argued that the government already has seized the vast majority of the cash available to his client, told Cox that Fata was prepared to post a $170,000 bond previously ordered by a magistrate judge.

After hearing arguments from both sides and from a witness — an FBI contractor who was involved with tracing Fata’s assets — Cox said he would rule on the issue of bond by the end of the day.

The government accuses Fata of ripping off Medicare for millions by giving chemotherapy to patients who didn’t need it and diagnosing cancer when the illness wasn’t apparent.

One of Fata’s patients was Susan Fiems, who died five years ago. Her son, Matthew Fiems, was in court on Tuesday.

He said Fata incorrectly diagnosed his mother with ovarian cancer, and she died nine months later of pancreatic cancer following a series of unnecessary chemotherapy treatments ordered by Fata.

Susan Fiems should have been allowed to come home and spend quality time with her family before her death, said her son, a 43-year-old resident of he Detroit suburb of Canton Township.

“All I know is that this physician took away what time Mom had left,” he said after Tuesday’s court hearing. “How do you make that right?”

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