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Farid Fata Must Pay Millions for Scamming Cancer Patients

An oncologist who inflicted painful cancer treatments on hundreds of patients --including many who weren't sick -- must pay millions to his victims.
Image: Victims of Dr. Farid Fata file onto a bus to attend his sentencing
Anna R. Schecter / NBC News


Jan. 18, 201607:56

A Michigan oncologist who inflicted excessive and painful cancer treatments on hundreds of patients — many of whom didn't have the disease — must pay millions to his victims to settle more than two dozen civil suits, NBC News has learned.

Dr. Farid Fata and his codefendants — his Michigan Hematology and Oncology practice and three hospitals where he worked — must pay $8 million to 43 claimants in 28 suits, according to the terms of a settlement approved by a judge in a Michigan court Wednesday.

Related: Victims Face Down Dr. Farid Fata

Fata has already been convicted of Medicare fraud and sentenced to 45 years in prison for what U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade called “the most serious fraud case in the history of the country.” Prosecutors said Fata’s victims totaled at least 553.

NBC News featured the story of Fata’s fraud and the suffering of his victims in an episode of “Dateline” called “Do No Harm.”

"No amount of money can compensate any of these individuals for what they endured at the hands of Fata,” said Donna McKenzie, who represented 21 of the 43 claimants. “His actions did not just affect the individuals who received the unnecessary chemotherapy. They affected spouses, children and grandchildren. They interrupted the lives of thousands."

Related: Doctor Who Helped Expose Fata's Fraud Describes Blowing the Whistle

During his sentencing in 2015, Fata sobbed and blamed his behavior on greed.

“They came to me seeking compassion and care. I failed them,” said Fata. “My sins are many.”

Related: Dr. Fata Sentenced to 45 Years in Prison

The government has seized all of Fata's assets. Fata’s insurance policy also included a clause that said if the holder committed a criminal act, the insurance company does not have to pay.

Michigan also has caps on damages that plaintiffs can recover in civil cases. The cap on non-economic damages is $438,000 per person.

Fata is currently serving his sentence in federal prison.