Victim of cancer doctor charged with fraud speaks out - WNEM TV 5

Victim of cancer doctor charged with fraud speaks out

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Dozens may now be able to recoup some of the financial loss piled up on them by a greedy doctor.

However, for one man, the loss is so much greater than what Dr. Farid Fata stripped from his bank account.

The Mid-Michigan man's health is forever damaged by the now imprisoned doctor.

Hundreds of cancer patients saw Fata as their only hope.

"He said 'do you want to live or do you want to die?' He said 'you need to do what I say,'" said Steve Riley, Fata victim.

Riley said he chose to live and Fata prescribed him three years of chemotherapy for a tumor on his abdomen. He never questioned the doctor's orders because he trusted Fata.

"At the time, we though he was saving our lives, or saving my life," Riley said.

Riley is like hundreds of other victims who were poisoned with wildly unnecessary treatments so Fata could pad his own pockets. Federal investigators finally cracked the $17 million scheme.

"He just got greedy. I can't say I hate him or anything. He just got greedy," Riley said.

Greed landed Fata in federal prison. He was sentenced to 45 years and now his victims are getting a chance to collect on the nearly $12 million set aside by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Riley said the money will never repair the damage done.

"That's the thing with that chemo, you don't know when it's going to do it to you and how it's going to effect you," Riley said.

Shortly after Fata's arrest in 2013, Riley said he visited the Mayo Clinic. Doctors there said he should have only needed six months of chemotherapy. The three years he endured took its toll.

"He said we just have no idea what it's going to do to you down the road and that's coming true," Riley said.

Riley said he can no longer control his bowels and unbearable pain in his feet makes him want to cut off his toes. He also suffers from what he calls chemo-brain, where he forgets the simplest things.

One thing he said he can't forget is Fata's other victims who sat next to him getting treatment they didn't need.

"It was always a bunch of old guys sitting back in there and some were nice old guys. And I wonder how many he killed with unnecessary chemo he was giving them," Riley said.

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