OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Detroit federal Judge Sean Cox will hold a bond hearing Tuesday for a Detroit-area cancer specialist accused of intentionally misdiagnosing patients.
Prosecutors want Dr. Farid Fata's bond set at $9 million after a magistrate judge said Dr. Farid Fata could be released from jail under strict conditions.
The U.S. attorney's office is appealing that decision, saying Fata may flee the country.
In a filing Monday, prosecutors say they want the current $170,000 bond increased to $9 million and that it come from a "legitimate, and not illegitimate, source."
The request cited the wealth and vast resources at Fata's disposal.
The government says Fata ripped off Medicare for millions by giving chemotherapy to patients who didn't need it and diagnosing cancer when the illness wasn't apparent.
Fata owns Michigan Hematology Oncology, which has offices in Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, Troy and Oak Park. The government says the clinics billed $35 million to Medicare over two years.
Doctors and nurses who worked with Fata told federal agents he 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.
A nurse also testified that there were cases where Fata would continue to treat patients who had gone into remission with a "maintenance dose" of chemotherapy.
In his filing, defense lawyer Christopher Andreoff requests "a reasonable cash bond that" Fata can post.
Andreoff says most if not all of Fata's assets were seized and he dose not have any liquid assets to post the bond with.
Fata "does not own a home in Lebanon, and since 2001 only traveled to Lebanon one time ... to see his ill father, who is 80 and suffers from severe heart and liver disease," Andreoff said in a court filing.
In documents filed in Federal Court Monday, the government says Fata and his wife have access to $9 million not yet seized by the government saying a low bond for Fata would be around $5 million but a more reasonable bond would be $9 million.
Fata's defense team filed a response saying that by freezing his assets he can't pay more than 50 employees and his businesses, medical practices and charities are essentially shut down.
Follow the story from day 1:
- Michigan doctor in custody on health care fraud charges
- Doctor accused of deliberately misdiagnosing patients
- Patient's family speaks out following local cancer doctor's arrest
- Judge to decide whether cancer doctor is released
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