Jailed Cancer Doctor Who Prescribed Chemo to Non-Cancer Patients Seeks Freedom 31 Years Early—Again—Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

A disgraced cancer doctor, Farid Fata, MD, who was arrested and sentenced to 45 years in prison after prescribing to chemotherapy to patients who did not have cancer is asking—again—for compassionate release due to several ailments putting him at potentially increased mortality risk amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Fata is 31 years away from serving his full sentence.

“With Fata’s medical conditions and age, contracting COVID-19 could very well prove to be fatal,” Dr. Fata’s attorney, Jeremy Gordon, requested of U.S. District Judge Paul Borman, according to The Detroit News. Dr. Fata reportedly suffers from ailments including type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal bleeding, and early dementia, his lawyer alleged.

Dr. Fata was convicted of prescribing chemotherapy to patients who did not have cancer as well as over-prescribing medication to patients at five hematology and oncology clinics in the Detroit area.

Fata: I Was Pressured Into Guilty Plea

He pled guilty and was convicted in 2014. Last year, Dr. Fata claimed that he was misled into pleading guilty and requested that his plea be withdrawn. At the time he said, according to the Detroit Free Press, “[My attorney] enforced the idea of pleading guilty by leading me to believe that I would receive lenience by entering guilty pleas …  I pled guilty for this reason, only to later discover it was all for naught,” in his filing. “The idea of leniency and cooperation benefit was the catalyst that [my attorney] created to create a false glamour of not dying in federal prison. Had I been properly advised … I would not have pleaded guilty and instead proceeded to trial as I had always intended to do.”

He insisted that his guilty plea was not an admission of guilt but a hope to receive leniency.

The attorney at the center of Dr. Fata’s allegations, Christopher Andreoff, told the Free Press that he “never, ever pressured Dr. Fata into pleading guilty.”

Dr. Fata’s request for compassionate release was rejected by his prison warden, Bryan Dobbs, in February. Dobbs said at the time, “The medical evaluation concluded that you are not capable of only limited self-care nor confined to a bed or chair more than 50 percent of waking hours. The evaluation concluded that all of your conditions are well-controlled through medication.”