(DETROIT, MI) — Lebanese-American cancer doctor Farid Fata will spend 45 years in prison, Judge Paul Borman said on Friday.
Fata was crying in court Friday morning, saying, “I stand before you ashamed of my actions. It all went wrong. I cannot bring back the past.”
“I pray for redemption. I ask the court for mercy,” Fata said.
Evette Aubrey, 84, said she knew Fata from Our Lady of Redemption Church in Warren, Mich., where his children were altar boys. She said she hoped the judge would “take care of him.”
“God bless him. He’s a good man,” Aubrey said.
The judge also ordered Fata to get drug and alcohol treatment for alcohol and prescription drug abuse.
Samar Fata, the wife of Farid Fata and the CFO of his medical operation, has since fled the country to Lebanon with the couple’s three children.
During his week of sentencing, Fata was described as a “cowardly bastard” by former patients, as he sat expressionless watching alleged victims take the stand to describe their medical nightmares.
Fata, 50, has admitted to billing insurers for millions of dollars while misdiagnosing and over-treating cancer patients with chemotherapy and other methods when they didn’t need it.
“Farid Fata: I hate you. You are repulsive. You disgust me. You are a monster. You are evil,” said Laura Stedtfeld, who took the stand and accused him of murdering her father, Piero Zanotti, who died in 2014.
“Clearly you are a coward because you can’t even look at me right now,” she said. “You murdered my dad. You poisoned, tortured and murdered my dad.”
Fata pleaded guilty last September to 13 counts of health care fraud, two money laundering counts, and one count of conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks.
According to the government, Fata had a patient load of 1,200 people and received $62 million from Medicare. He billed for more than $150 million.
“(The fraud) hasn’t happened on a scale like this before anywhere,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Resnick Cohen, who called Fata’s actions “heinous and sadistically cruel.”
Fata has lived in Michigan for 10 years and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2009. He graduated from the Lebanese University in 1992 and completed his Internal Medicine Residency in Brooklyn, NY in 1996.