DETROIT - A Detroit-area cancer doctor accused of fraud won't be released from jail.
Dr. Farid Fata's attorney, Christopher Andreoff, had argued Wednesday for his client's bond to be reduced from $9 million to $500,000. Andreoff said Fata won't flee to Lebanon, his native country. But, a judge ruled that Fata would stay behind bars at the the federal prison in Milan, Mich., until trial.
His trial has tentatively been slated to begin in middle October.
Fata is accused of misdiagnosing patients and ordering unnecessary treatments to enrich himself through Medicare and other insurance programs. The government says some patients were repeatedly exposed to powerful drugs despite having no cancer. Fata denies it. He's been in jail since August.
Outside the courthouse, about a dozen relatives or patients or former patients protested against Fata's possible release from jail.
One sign said, "Without fail Fata will jump bail."
Fata owns and operates Michigan Hematology Oncology Centers (MHO) which has offices in Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, Troy and Oak Park.
Doctors and nurses who worked with Fata told federal agents Fata often gave patients doses of medication they didn't need at toxic levels, treated them in office settings as opposed to hospitals and had what is referred to as "interns" or foreign doctors treat a high number of patients.
On Monday a judge ruled the government can't use newspaper ads to reach out to people who may have been treated by Fata.
Detroit federal Judge Paul Borman says the legal notices could poison the pool of potential jurors against Fata. The judge says there are other ways of reaching patients.
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- Dr. Farid Fata makes plea for release
- Hospital changes policy; provides Fata records for free
- Fata patients gather for mutual support