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Detroit – A doctor sentenced to 45 years in prison for putting cancer patients through needless treatments has persuaded a judge to hold a hearing on his claim that his guilty plea was the result of bad advice.

Farid Fata wants to set aside his 2014 guilty plea. He claims lawyer Christopher Andreoff assured him that he would get a shorter sentence if he pleaded guilty to fraud. But the government didn’t seek his cooperation, and he didn’t get a break.

Andreoff denies telling Fata that he could get him a 20-year sentence. He says the evidence against Fata was “overwhelming,” and the doctor wasn’t reluctant to plead guilty.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Grand says he will hear testimony on July 30 about Fata’s claim of ineffective legal counsel.

Separately, the government is asking a judge to approve $4.2 million in payments to Fata’s victims or their families. About half of that amount is for funeral expenses.

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