Doctor Sentenced to 45 Years for Providing Medically Unnecessary Chemo to Patients

Originally published on July 12, 2015, at NationofChange.org

An oncologist was sentenced to 45 years in prison on Friday after administering medically unnecessary chemotherapy to patients who did not have cancer in order to overbill their insurance. Instead of saving lives, Dr. Farid Fata purposely misdiagnosed his patients so he could order more expensive treatments and invasive tests without concern for their health. After collecting millions of dollars from fraudulent claims to Medicare and private insurance companies, Dr. Fata was finally caught when two employees uncovered his crimes and decided to become whistleblowers.

After noticing an abnormality in her blood work, Monica Flagg’s primary care physician referred her to Dr. Fata, who owned and operated a cancer treatment clinic called Michigan Hematology Oncology (MHO) with multiple locations throughout Detroit and a diagnostic testing facility, United Diagnostics PLLC. In July 2012, Dr. Fata lied to Flagg and told her that she had aggressive multiple myeloma. Flagg endured numerous tests, three painful bone marrow biopsies, and copious amounts of immune boosters before undergoing a round of chemotherapy on July 1, 2013.

On the same day of her first and only chemotherapy treatment, Flagg later tripped over a suitcase in her bedroom and broke her leg. While recuperating at the hospital, Flagg met Dr. Soe Maunglay, who was another doctor in Dr. Fata’s practice taking care of his patients while Fata was on vacation in Lebanon. Concerned for Flagg’s health and suspecting his boss of purposely misdiagnosing his patients, Dr. Maunglay conducted a series of tests to determine whether or not Flagg even had cancer.

“He told me, ‘You don’t have cancer. You are 51 years old. You’re healthy. Don’t ever go back to Dr. Fata. Find a new doctor,’” Flagg recalled.

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13 Current and Former Law Enforcement Officers Arrested for Drug Trafficking

Originally published on May 2, 2015, at NationofChange.org

Thirteen current and former law enforcement officers, a 911 dispatch operator, and a civilian were indicted this week for allegedly participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy. After a two-year undercover investigation, the FBI arrested all 15 alleged conspirators on Wednesday as they attempted to transport what they thought was a shipment of illegal narcotics. Several of the defendants have also been charged with money laundering, extortion, bribery, attempted possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, and carrying firearms while trafficking drugs.

According to Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp, his office contacted the FBI after receiving numerous tips about police corruption taking place in Northampton County. The FBI began investigating these reports and launched a massive sting operation codenamed Operation Rockfish. Between 2013 and 2015, the FBI discovered numerous sheriff’s deputies, correctional officers, a police officer, a 911 operator, and a civilian participating in trafficking multiple kilograms of cocaine and heroin.

“We received numerous tips and information from confidential informants. We follow up on every lead and every tip to make sure it’s credible,” stated Sheriff Tripp. “I have a sick feeling in my stomach right now because we all take an oath to defend and protect the state and federal constitution. We’re not supposed to break the law.”

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Senator Indicted on Federal Corruption Charges

Originally published on April 2, 2015, at NationofChange.org

Federal prosecutors indicted Sen. Robert Menendez on corruption charges on Wednesday for allegedly accepting lavish gifts and contributions in exchange for political favors. According to the Justice Department’s public integrity unit, Sen. Menendez used his position to advance the business interests of campaign contributor and Florida ophthalmologist, Dr. Salomon Melgen. Investigated for years by the FBI, the Senate Ethics Committee, the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS), and a federal grand jury, Sen. Menendez and Dr. Melgen have finally been charged for participating in a bribery scheme.

After receiving an anonymous tip, the FBI began investigating allegations that Dr. Melgen had purchased underage prostitutes for Menendez during one of his trips to the Dominican Republic. Although the prostitutes eventually recanted their stories, the FBI and HHS investigators raided Dr. Melgen’s offices in January 2013. Less than a month later, Menendez became Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In March 2013, a federal grand jury in Miami reportedly began investigating Menendez’s questionable relationship with Dr. Melgen. After acknowledging that he had failed to disclose two free trips aboard Dr. Melgen’s private plane in 2010, Menendez wrote the doctor a personal check for $58,500 to reimburse him for the rides. The Senate Ethics Committee launched an investigation into why Menendez did not disclose the flights earlier.

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Former Governor Sentenced to 2 Years for Bribery Scheme

Originally published on January 8, 2015, at NationofChange.org

Convicted on public corruption charges, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for soliciting and accepting bribes while in office. His wife, Maureen McDonnell, has been convicted on similar charges for obtaining payments, loans, and gifts in exchange for political favors. Instead of condemning McDonnell for abusing his power, many politicians have reached out in support of his behavior.

Former Attorney General of Virginia, Bob McDonnell became Governor of Virginia on January 16, 2010. After delivering the 2010 Republican response to the State of the Union Address, he became chairman of the Republican Governors Association in 2011. McDonnell was even considered a possible running mate for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.

Ten days after vacating the office of Governor of Virginia, McDonnell and his wife Maureen were indicted on federal corruption charges on January 21, 2014. Between April 2011 and March 2013, the McDonnells had accepted over $170,000 in direct payments from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams, Sr.

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