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Convicted cancer doctor Farid Fata loses second appeal of his conviction

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Convicted oncologist Farid Fata was turned down in his bid to toss out his conviction on Medicare and insurance fraud, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals announced Tuesday.

Farid Fata

It is the second time Fata's bid to have his conviction overturned was rejected by a federal judge. 

In February, U.S. District Judge David Grand denied Fata's request to toss out the conviction on a wide-ranging health insurance fraud conviction. 

Fata, who was sentenced to a 45-year prison term in 2015, sought last year to have his guilty plea to health care fraud and money laundering withdrawn, arguing that he was misled by his attorneys about his likely sentence, but Grand said Fata pleaded guilty because "he was guilty."

Judges at the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati in their ruling wrote following an evidentiary hearing on Fata's appeal that he failed to show evidence that he received inadequate counsel and was misled by attorneys Christopher Andreoff and Mark Kriger to plead guilty in the case.

The judges ruled that Fata pleaded guilty against the advice of both of his attorneys and that the evidence showed Fata "was never promised that he would be personally debriefed by the government or given a cooperation credit, and, in any case, he failed to show that he would have gone to trial had he known that the debriefing would be conducted through his attorneys."

The court also added that "Fata acknowledged that he was pleading guilty against the advice of both of his attorneys" and that the  attorneys testified that, prior to his guilty plea, they advised Fata to go to trial.

Fata, of Oakland Township, operated five local oncology and hematology clinics. Fata is accused of treating and prescribing chemotherapy to patients who did not have cancer and overprescribing medications and treatments to others in his expansive scheme to bilk Medicare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield out of $34 million.

Geraldine Smith Parkin, organizer of the support group Patients & Families Treated by Dr Fata, said Tuesday she is glad the court turned down the appeal. "Now I wish he would just stop and deal with his punishment," she said.