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Friday, February 23, 2018

Schuette And LARA Ignored Desperate Pleas From Victims Of Doctor Who Prescribed Hundreds With Fake Cancer Diagnosis



By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


Farid Fata exemplifies evil.

Fata, formerly a Doctor in the Rochester area, currently sits behind bars at a federal prison in South Carolina after he was caught diagnosing patients with cancer who never really had the disease.


Instead, Fata was lying so he could cash in on radiation and chemo treatments. For years, Fata scammed scared and desperate victims, raking in nearly $35 million during that time.


Over 500 victims of Fata have been identified during the federal prosecution, 553 to be exact. Many believe there are more.


"Federal investigators amassed evidence that Fata had bullied or deceived 553 people into getting chemotherapy treatments they didn't need, leaving the patients' insurance companies and Medicare stuck with $34 million in fraudulent and unnecessary claims," according to Wikipedia. "They also found that Fata took kickbacks from two local hospices, and poured Medicare and private insurance proceeds into his own diagnostic testing facility, where he ordered unnecessary diagnostic tests. On the basis of these findings, Barbara McQuade, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, won a series of superseding indictments against Fata. They culminated in a 23-count indictment charging Fata with health care fraud, conspiring to take and receive kickbacks, money laundering, and unlawfully procuring naturalization. The last charge was added because McQuade contended Fata had concealed the extent of his fraud from immigration authorities when he applied for citizenship."

Jeff Berz knows all too well about Fata, the evil acts he perpetrated, and the devastation he left in his wake.


"My dad was one of the victims of Fata," Berz tells WMP. "He was such a good man. He was awarded the prestigious Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award by the FAA for his life long contributions to aviation. Fata poisoned and killed hundreds of his trusting patients with chemotherapy and many other forms of the most expensive cancer medicines. Many of the patients never even had cancer, but he treated them anyway, causing irreversible damage and often times, death." 


Milton H. Berz and Mary Jane Berz (Via Jeff Berz)
Berz says he and many victims are perplexed over how they have been treated by the State of Michigan, particularly Attorney General Bill Schuette, as well as LARA, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

"The federal government arrested Fata in 2013 on insurance fraud charges, Berz said. "Never once did the state of Michigan discuss criminal charges. Why? The severity of this case was unprecedented. It was similar to the work of a serial killer, but nobody brought criminal charges to the case. Later in 2013, we found out that there had been an official complaint made against Fata with LARA by a seasoned and credible oncology nurse. To date, we have no idea if anybody actually did an investigation or not."


Let's back up to that complaint filed with LARA Berz just mentioned. It's a crucial part of this twisted puzzle that victims want pieced together. Berz tells it better than I ever could:

"In 2010, Oncology Nurse Angela Swantek interviewed for a position at one of Doctor Fata’s cancer facilities in Rochester, Michigan. Nurse Swantek had been an Oncology nurse for 19 years at this time. You may also see this on the official complaint form.

Nurse Swantek was shocked at what she saw being done at the Fata facility. She saw many violations with OSHA and the way that medications were being given and delivered. She observed patients being harmed because they were being given chemotherapy and supportive therapy incorrectly, and at the wrong times. These facts may also be seen in the enclosed complaint form. Nurse Swantek was so appalled at what she saw at the Fata cancer facility that she left the office the very same day and went to her car and cried. After wondering about what to do, she filed the official complaint .

Nurse Swantek made the official complaint to the Michigan Department of Licensing And Regulatory Affairs or LARA on April 14, 2010.

According to the response that she received from LARA on May 13, 2011 almost 11 months to the day, LARA had found no evidence of wrongdoing at the Fata cancer facility and closed the file.

Had a “thorough review” and “investigation” been done, this would have been an opportunity to save hundreds of victims lives and keep hundreds of victims from being harmed by Doctor Fata in the next 3 years it took until he was arrested on Federal charges of insurance fraud.

We as a group want to know how this “thorough investigation” failed to substantiate a single claim that Nurse Swantek made in her complaint.

We want to know when the investigation was done, where it was done, by who it was done, how long the investigation took, and what superior in the Department of LARA was this reported to. We would also like to know if th LARA was asked to stand down while the Federal Government made their case for insurance fraud.

Between April of 2010 and the time that LARA responded to the complaint, Fata poisoned and killed hundreds of his trusting patients for greed and personal gain. Many survivors today are suffering from the loss of teeth and hair and many have no immune system left to keep them healthy after being overdosed with chemotherapy and other cancer drugs that most people didn’t even need."






Berz says Schuette has ignored him and others impacted by Fata.



"Schuette did nothing for us as survivors and victims, which makes most of us wonder about a cover up for not acting properly and in a timely manner," Berz tells WMP. 

Berz says seeing Schuette talk about the Nassar investigation at MSU is upsetting.

"It just burns me up to see Schuette acting like the compassionate and caring Attorney General in the Nassar case while he totally ignored us and our requests for answers on this alleged investigation," Berz said.

Berz says hundreds of victims and their friends and families have tried to contact Mr. Schuette, but their desperate, heartfelt pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

"We have not been allowed to have answers," Berz says. "Hundreds of us from our victim group 'Patience & Families Treated by Dr Fata' tried to contact Bill Schuette for guidance and help. He never answered a single one of us and has completely ignored our pleas to get the answers that we deserve." 

Schuette seems to have had only two minor brushes with the case. The first was suspending Fata's medical license after charges had already been filed by federal prosecutors, a mere formality. 

The second time, Schuette attended a gala for crime victims and briefly mentioned the case.

On a Facebook group dedicated to the Fata tragedy, people impacted by his evil acts responded to the brief recognition.

"He certainly can't hide from us any more and hopefully he will become the advocate he pretends to be," one person said. "Well if nothing else, maybe he can come serve us some coffee. I hear he is quite good at that," another wrote.


The group is full of comments expressing anger, disappointment, and frustration with Schuette.

In one post, a heartbroken family member shared a letter they wrote to Schuette.


"Mail must have gotten lost, so here's today's attempt:

Dear Mr. Schuette,
You say you are a leader who is unafraid to make decisions. You say you have the strength and experience to make Michigan safe again. You say ‘As Attorney General, I’ll put safety first. I want to make Michigan the safest place in America to raise our children.” Did you lie? Do you care? Are you hoping the federal authorities will do the dirty work so you can spend some extra time at the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference Grand Hotel?

The Patients and Families Treated by Dr. Fata deserve to know the actions your office is taking to investigate and charge Dr. Farid Fata. Our group is over1,300 members and we are growing. We are not doing this as a political venture. Loved ones have died, loved ones have suffered, loved ones deserve justice.

We want to know that you are true to your word and keeping your campaign promises.

Please respond."

Victims don't expect much from Schuette, they just want to be heard. 

"Speaking for myself here, but I wasn't asking him to "go after" Fata because I clearly understood the fraud case and what they could charge him with," said another person impacted by Fata. "But as my Attorney General, I certainly looked to him to set a clear tone to the public that this would not be tolerated. Empathy to the victims and families. One answered letter, email, or phone call should've happened. He did NOTHING!"

Fata

Others hurt by Fata share that feeling as well.

"You are right...When I met with him last Fall(2016), I specifically called him out on that," another group member wrote in response to the previous quote. "He said he was caught off guard and had to think about his answer to my question. After that, i received a letter from him thanking me for the question. I simply asked why he never addressed the group personally. We were told it was actually a Federal investigation and that is why he didn't. He admitted it wasn't right and he probably should have spoken with us. I told him just one meeting or conversation would have made us feel as though they cared, but that never happened. Even though there was much confusion because Michigan was asked to stand down by the FBI, he could have spoken to us at one of our meetings. I told him he's been great at coming out for the Flint water crisis, human trafficking in MI and the meningitis patients (they got it because of their treatment or something), but he never spoke with us. It would have taken 10 minutes and we all would have felt just a little better."

Berz recently wrote Schuette yet again, still holding out hope he and others hurt by Fata will get the answers they deserve.

"During the time after Fata’s arrest in 2013 on the insurance fraud charges many of us as victims and family members had no place to turn. We had formed a Facebook group that was growing by the day. Many of us reached out to you Mr. Schuette for help and direction. From you we received absolutely NOTHING!!! The fact that you are the Michigan Attorney General and that you are allegedly the number 1 advocate for victims in our state we thought that you would have responded and showed us some care and compassion but you ignored us!!! I even had the chance to approach you at a Lincoln Republican dinner at Penna’s in Sterling Heights, MI where you assured me that you were on top of the case. We never heard from you. WHY????

At this point we had to assume that there was a reason that the Michigan Attorney General is dodging us. Many of us suspected that the alleged investigation into Nurse Swantek’s complaint were done improperly if it was done at all.

Since the time that the original complaint was made in April of 2010 until the arrest in 2013 do you know how many people have suffered and died? Do you know what this has done to people who are now survivors? Do you know what this has done to families? Do you know that people have lost their jobs, their homes and their livelihoods due to this horrific crime? Most importantly DO YOU EVEN CARE? It sure doesn’t seem like it.

In the wake of the Flint Water Crisis you have been aggressively going after anyone and everyone who was associated with the crime. You are prosecuting people for not doing their jobs and for not performing their investigations in a proper and timely manner or not reporting at all. The Federal government was also involved in this case yet you are still the one prosecuting the wrong doings.

In the Larry Nassar case you are “On Duty Bill Schuette”. You are all over this case. You pledge to get to the bottom of this case 100%. You are showing care, compassion and empathy for the survivors and their families yet you showed the victims, survivors and family members in the Fata case nothing.

Mr. Schuette what is the difference? We would like to know and we would like answers to the questions that we have asked.

WE DESERVE ANSWERS!

Hopefully you will be able to come forward with the truth and help us try to deal with what has happened to us and our loved ones."


About that brief encounter Berz referenced a moment ago: Mr. Schuette promised him he would follow up about the case, but never did. In classic Bill Schuette fashion though, he did come through on one thing: he poured Berz coffee.
Attorney General Schuette pours Jeff Berz coffee (Photo via Jeff Berz)

 __________________________________________________________________

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com
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6 comments:

  1. Brandon, it would seem, of late,that you are a partisan favoring another candidate for governor. If this is the case,you should make full disclosure. In the case at hand, a state operated investigation found no violation. Why would he pursue an investigation where no proof was found after what he must consider to be a competent investigation? Under those conditions, how many people should he be expected to communicatewith.
    When proof was later produced by the feds, he was, by your own admission asked to stand down. It would appear, by your recent slanted attacks that there is a negative agenda afoot here. I look forward to your response. Lots of accusations. Not muchfa tual proof. Did you even bother to ask the AG for his side of the story ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This may explain it:
      http://www.grandhaventribune.com/Courts/2016/11/30/Jury-finds-Brandon-Hall-guilty-of-election-fraud

      Delete
    2. Tom
      This story was very well written based on OUR letter. We ARE the VICTIMS not you!!

      Delete
    3. I would like to reply Tom.
      My name is Jeff Berz. I was with my dad during his last hours in this world as he agonized in pain as his kidney's failed. I watched my mom holding his hand and crying over her husband of 58 years.
      Myself and others simply want to know why it took 11 months to answer the complaint made to LARA back in 2010. Had a legitimate investigation been done Dr. Fata could have been stopped 3 years before he was arrested in 2013 for insurance fraud saving hundreds of lives. We have been trying for years to get answers but we have been shut out. Hundreds of attempts have been made to contact Bill Schuette but he never replies.
      How would you feel if your loved one had been killed and maybe it could have been prevented?
      All we want is some simple answers to o our simple questions.
      Thank you Brandon Hall for listening and for caring.

      Delete
  2. We are questioning the amount of time that it took to get a reply to the complaint made against Fata. During those 11 months Fata was allowed to go on killing his patients. Had a legitimate investigation been done the killing and pain could have been stopped 3 years before the arrest in 2013 for insurance fraud.
    Tom I hope you never have to sit in a hospital with your father while he spends his last hours on morphiine trying to mask the pain as his kidneys fail and your mother holds her husbands hand and cries after being together for 58 years. Multiply this by many more painful stories. We deserve to know how this complaint was handled and by who.
    Thank you Brandon Hall for trying to help us get these answers.Jeff Berz

    ReplyDelete
  3. Don't stop until you get the answers to these questions and to the bottom of this case. My mom suffered because of Dr.fata. So I believe in what you are doing. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete