(DETROIT, MI) — A 15-page FBI search and seizure warrant claims Lebanese-American Dr. Farid Fata performed medically unnecessary cancer treatments and directed his staff to lie to patients and insurance companies to justify spending.
On September 17, Fata pleaded guilty to 13 counts of health care fraud, two counts of money laundering, and one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks. He faces sentencing in February before U.S. District Judge Paul Borman.
The FBI believes emails to workers, drug companies, and financial advisors will prove how Dr. Fata committed health care fraud. The 19-page affidavit included several emails.
In one email from July 2012, Dr. Fata wrote to a drug manufacturer after they denied a grant to his charity, “Swan for Life.” The FBI says the drug manufacturer was told to donate $10,000 to the charity or Dr. Fata would stop ordering the drug.
He writes, in part:
“I expect further support form AMAG, Please proceed ASAP. I will be happy to talk to Dr. XXXXXX to reconsider IF ANYBODY DESERVES SUPPORT IT IS US! i.e. SFLCF Please advise, Dr. Fata.”
Reports also say Fata was looking at investment opportunities in Lebanon, particularly in luxury properties in the Jounieh coastal area.
FBI Special Agent Bryan Drake focused on an August 2010 email exchange between Fata and his financial advisor. The subject line read “URGENT!!!!!”
Dr. Fata wrote:
“I need a favor from you. My dad has a great deal on a castle all furnished in Adma/Lebanon! … Can you pls get in contact with my dad and go see the house! It is for $3,000000…Let me know if you can see the house. What is the economic benefit and the housing market in Adma? Is there an economical value in investing in such house?”
Fata asked if he could tap one of his numerous trusts to pay for the castle.
“Can this be funded from the Fata Foundation?” he wrote, according to the search warrant.
The “Fata Family Foundation” was also used to make contributions to a Melkite Catholic church in Warren, according to public 990 forms.
It is unclear if Fata ever invested in the castle.
Meanwhile, Samar Fata, the wife of Dr. Farid Fata and the CFO of Michigan Hematology Oncology, P.C., has fled the country to Lebanon with the couple’s three children, sources said.
Federal investigators alleged that from August 2007 to July 2013 Fata’s health maintenance organization practice billed Medicare for around $225 million, of which $109 million was for chemotherapy or other cancer treatments.
Of the approximately $225 million, Medicare paid more than $91 million to Fata’s medical practice. Many of the treatments, government attorneys charge, were administered to patients who did not even have cancer.
The FBI wanted to search the doctor’s Hotmail account to trace tens of millions of dollars that flowed through various Fata-related entities, according to the search warrant.