Fata reimbursement fund grows by over $900,000
The victims of Farid Fata will have more money to be split among them through additional funds forfeited by the imprisoned oncologist.
More than $900,000 will be added to the fund, Fata Claims, that to pay claims to former patients and surviving family members.
The funds, totaling $922,500, came from additional liquidated assets of Fata, according to documents filed Tuesday in federal court in Detroit.
Fata, 52, is serving 45 years in prison for bilking Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Medicare of about $34 million by prescribing chemotherapy to cancer-free patients while over-medicating others at his five hematology and oncology clinics.
Patty Hester, 63, of Clarkston, was treated for leukemia only to discover she did not have cancer after all. Hester said while the extra money is good for those given needless chemotherapy, she is frustrated that the insurance companies may get the money instead of her.
“(The insurance companies) have placed liens against us,” said Hester, an emergency room and cardiac telemetry technician. “The hand is waiting for money.”
Like many other former Fata patients, Hester is experiencing dental problems, including loss of teeth, as a result of the treatments. She said she would have liked to see a “Fata Card” that would that take care of the victims’ health problems for a lifetime.
A forfeiture judgment was leveled against Fata when he was sentenced in July 2015 for $17.6 million.
Nearly a year after Fata’s 2014 conviction, a restitution fund of $12 million was set up to disperse forfeited cash to his victims or their surviving loved ones. Ten percent of the fund, which was set up with money and other assets forfeited by Fata, went to the whistle-blower in the case.
Some of Fata’s former patients and their family members have complained about being refused restitution.
Others say the payment amounts and the guidelines for getting the funds are too restrictive.
Fata is serving his time in a federal prison in South Carolina.