'Dr. Death Walked In the Door': Stories of Dr. Farid Fata's Duped Patients
A UNITED GROUP
Victims of Dr. Farid Fata and their loved ones meet once a month at the ConCorde Inn in Rochester Hills, Michigan, to commiserate and help each other heal. The oncologist was arrested in 2013, pleading guilty to 13 counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to receive kickbacks and two counts of money laundering in a $35 million scheme to bilk the government into paying for excessive or unnecessary cancer treatments for his patients. In February, 137 people affected by the doctor showed up for PEOPLE's photo shoot. He is expected to appear in front of a federal judge on July 6 to face sentencing.
"Dr. Death walked in the door," she says about the day she and her husband Harrison met Fata. She says Fata gave her husband unnecessary treatments. "Fata never told us he was dying," she says. "He suffered right up until his last breath."
He never had cancer but was given chemotherapy and radiation. "If you are ever told you have cancer, it's a shock in itself. Your heart drops, your mouth drops open and you're in awe," he says. "Then when you find out you don't have cancer, it's like, what the hell is going to happen to me now?"
After Fata diagnosed her with a rare form of blood cancer, Hester began giving away her prized possessions. Later, she learned she never had cancer. "We were really excited," she says, "and then it just turned to rage. I felt so betrayed."
TIM & GERALDINE PARKIN
Tim was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma, a blood cancer, and over-treated with chemotherapy, which destroyed his immune system. "People ask why I didn't get a second opinion but he was my second opinion," he says. "It's hard to talk to any doctors. It's hard to trust them."
Her husband Vincent died in 2009 at age 39. She says Fata diagnosed him with testicular cancer and over-treated him with chemotherapy. "You had to get there as soon as the office opened or you couldn't get a seat," she says about Fata's office. "It was just pack with people getting all sorts of treatments."