A dispensing chemist prepares drugs for a chemotherapy treatment (Reuters/Eric Gaillard)

A Michigan doctor facing upwards of 175 years in prison for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering could be practicing again in half a decade, and that is worrying to, among others, relatives of former patients who have since passed on.

The so-called “death doctor,” oncologist Farid Fata, pleaded guilty earlier this month to 16 of the 23 counts he was under fire for after routinely misdiagnosing patients on purpose in order to subject them to expensive — and sometimes deadly — treatments, the likes of which earned the physician lucrative kickbacks from health care providers.

According to the indictment, Fata submitted $225 million in Medicare claims between 2007 and 2013, of which almost half involved chemotherapy. In turn, Fata received over $91 million from the United States government-administered social insurance program.

Fata’s medical license was revoked in January, and in September he pleaded guilty in US District Court to more than half of the charges he’s up against. At sentencing in February, he could receive a jail term as long as 175 year in prison related to health-care fraud, of conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks and money laundering.

Michigan’s ClickonDetroit reported that federal prosecutors seek a life sentence for the doctor. Should the judge go easy, however, then Fata could, in theory, be practicing medicine again in hardly any time. The Washington Post reported on Wednesday this week that Michigan law allows for Fata to have his medical license reinstated in just five years, raising fears from the family members of former patients and politicians alike.

Although no deaths have legally been attributed to the doctor, the relatives of a few former patients of Fata say his scheme could have certainly had a role.

Read more at RT News

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