Alabama Police Chief Charged for Assaulting Arrestee

A grand jury in the Northern District of Alabama has charged Daniel Winters, the Chief of Police of Stevenson, Alabama, with two counts of deprivation of civil rights under color of law for beating a man who was being arrested.

The indictment alleges that on or about March 22, 2015, Winters physically assaulted an arrestee, and willfully failed to intervene to stop another person from using unreasonable force during the arrest.  The assault caused the arrestee to suffer bodily injuries.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case is being investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation.  The investigation remains ongoing.  The matter is being prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Forrest Christian and Trial Attorney Samantha Trepel of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section and Deputy Chief Laura Hodge of the Northern District of Alabama.

Winters Indictment

Shackled, Chained and Bleeding in Labor

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) – Missouri jailers accused a pregnant woman of lying about contractions and forced her to travel three hours in a van while shackled, chained, bleeding and vomiting, she claims in court.
Megon Riedel sued Jackson County and three Doe jailers on Thursday, for cruel and unusual punishment she received as an inmate at Jackson County Detention Center.
Riedel claims that on Oct. 4, 2012, a doctor at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City told a jail guard who had taken her to the hospital that she was in early stages of labor and that the jail needed to have plan in place in case she went into labor and needed immediate medical attention. Riedel was in her late third trimester.
At 5 a.m. the next day, as Riedel was bleeding vaginally and having frequent contractions, guards ordered her to pack her belongings and forced her to walk unassisted to the van. She says she had to stop every few steps due to pain and contractions.
“Hurry up,” one officer said, accusing her of lying about her contractions and pain.
The jailers then shackled and chained her while she was in labor and drove her to the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correction Center (WERDCC) in Vandalia, Mo., three and a half hours away.
During the 200-mile ride, Riedel says, she pleaded that she was in labor and needed to be taken to a hospital. She continued to bleed vaginally and vomited in the back of the van.
When the van finally arrived at Vandalia, a jail officer asked her to strip and upon seeing her condition said: “Are you fucking serious?”
The staff member immediately called for medical attention, and Riedel was rushed to a hospital, where she delivered her baby that same day.
“Shackling and chaining a pregnant prisoner while she is in labor violates the Constitution, and transporting her across Missouri in shackles and chains is beyond callous,” said her attorney Anthony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri.
“Not only is it cruel and unusual punishment, it jeopardizes the health of both mother and baby,” said Rothert.
Jackson County Detention Center did not respond to a request for comment.
Riedel seeks punitive damages for constitutional violations, negligence, failure to train and supervise, and intentional infliction of emotional distres

Monsanto and its Promoters vs. Freedom of Information

by Ralph Nader

Next year, the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) will celebrate its 50th anniversary as one of the finest laws our Congress has ever passed. It is a vital investigative tool for exposing government and corporate wrongdoing.

The FOIA was championed by Congressman John E. Moss (D-CA), who strove to “guarantee the right of every citizen to know the facts of his Government.” Moss, with whom I worked closely as an outside citizen advocate, said that “without the fullest possible access to Government information, it is impossible to gain the knowledge necessary to discharge the responsibilities of citizenship.”

All fifty states have adopted FOIA statutes.

As the FOIA approaches its 50th year, it faces a disturbing backlash from scientists tied to the agrichemical company Monsanto and its allies. Here are some examples.

On March 9th, three former presidents of the American Association for the Advancement of Science – all with ties to Monsanto or the biotech industry – wrote in the pages of the Guardian to criticize the use of the state FOIA laws to investigate taxpayer-funded scientists who vocally defend Monsanto, the agrichemical industry, their pesticides, and genetically engineered food. They called the FOIAs an “organized attack on science.”

The super-secretive Monsanto has stated, regarding the FOIAs, that “agenda-driven groups often take individual documents or quotes out of context in an attempt to distort the facts, advance their agenda, and stop legitimate research.”

Advocates with the venerable Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) do worry that the FOIA can be abused to harass scientists for ideological reasons. This is true; for example, human-caused global warming deniers have abused the FOIA against climate scientists working at state universities like Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University.

Among other suggestions, UCS recommends the following:

  • “Universities should clarify their policies and procedures with regard to open records requests, ensure that their employees understand these policies, and make sure they have considered how they will respond when overly broad requests are used to harass their researchers…..
  • Legislators should examine their open records laws and ensure that they include appropriate exemptions that will protect privacy and academic freedom without compromising accountability.
  • The National Academy of Sciences and other research organizations should provide guidance to legislators and universities on what should be disclosed and what should be protected….”

For more on the UCS positions see: http://www.ucsusa.org/center-science-and-democracy/protecting-scientists-harassment/freedom-bully-how-laws.

The proper response to abuses of the FOIA is not, however, to advocate blocking citizens or reporters from using the FOIA.

There are countless government and corporate scandals that have been revealed by the FOIA, but here are just two from this year.

In February, Justin Gillis and John Schwartz of the New York Times used documents obtained by the Greenpeace and the Climate Investigations Center through the FOIA to expose the corporate ties of the climate-change-denying scientist Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, who received over $1.2 million in contributions from the fossil fuel industry over the last ten years.  Soon even called his scientific papers “deliverables” to his corporate donors.

Another area of risk to food and health was revealed by FOIA requests. There are legitimate concerns about the health and environmental perils of genetically engineered crops and food. And the concerns are mounting. For example, in March, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified the herbicide glyphosate – which is sprayed as Roundup on many genetically engineered crops – as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

On August 20, in the New England Journal of Medicine, Philip J. Landrigan and Charles Benbrook wrote that “the argument that there is nothing new about genetic rearrangement misses the point that GM crops are now the agricultural products most heavily treated with herbicides and that two of these herbicides may pose risks of cancer.” Another study published on August 25 in the journalEnvironmental Health suggests that very low levels of exposure to Roundup “can result in liver and kidney damage” in rats, “with potential significant health implications for animal and human populations.”

U.S. Right to Know, a nonprofit consumer group staffed by consumer advocates, is conducting an investigation of the food and agrichemical industries, including companies like Monsanto, and how they use front groups and taxpayer-funded professors at public universities to advance their claims that processed foods, artificial additives, and GMOs are safe, wholesome, and beyond reproach.

Based on documents that U.S. Right to Know obtained through the FOIA, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Eric Lipton wrote a front page New York Times article about how Monsanto and the agrichemical industry use publically-funded scientists to lobby, and to promote its messages and products.  For example, Lipton reported on a $25,000 grant from Monsanto to University of Florida Professor Kevin Folta, who had repeatedly denied having ties to Monsanto: “‘This is a great 3rd-party approach to developing the advocacy that we’re looking to develop,’ Michael Lohuis, the director of crop biometrics at Monsanto, wrote last year in an email as the company considered giving Dr. Folta an unrestricted grant.”

One thing is clear; food safety, public health, the commercialization of public universities, corporate control of science, and the research produced by taxpayer-funded scientists to promote commercial products are all appropriate subjects for FOIA requests.

The use of the FOIA by citizens, journalists, and others to expose scandals is essential to ensure honest scientific inquiry and is critical to developing protective public health and environmental standards. Scientific research should not be contaminated by the inevitable biases and secrecy that come with corporate contracts at public universities.

The FOIA is a valuable tool to help citizens uncover corruption and wrongdoing, and to vindicate our right to know what our own governments are doing.
Ralph Nader

Sign the Petition to Declassify Missing 28 Pages on 9/11 Attacks

A new petition is asking the White House for the declassification of the 28 pages of the U.S. government report on 9/11 which remain classified.

The petition needs 100,000 signatures by September 25th for the Whitehouse to consider responding to it.

The 28 pages are from a joint congressional 9/11 inquiry and have been kept hidden from the American people. They are reported to describe indications of foreign government financing of the attacks.

Rep. Thomas Massie called the pages “shocking” and said, “I had to stop every couple pages and try to rearrange my understanding of history.” Former Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired the inquiry that produced the 28 pages, says there’s no national security reason for hiding them.

Every American deserves to know what foreign nation(s) financed the hijackers, and 9/11 family members desperately need this information to achieve courtroom justice. A promised review of the pages for declassification has already taken longer than the entire inquiry that produced them.

Mr. President, declassify them now. We the people have a right to know.

You can sign the petition at https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/declassify-28-pages-foreign-government-financing-911-hijackers

The petition is sponsored by 28 Pages

Glyphosate Finally Recognized as Cancer-Causing, in California

California’s Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it will list glyphosate — a widely used herbicide dangerous to people and linked to the dramatic decline of monarch butterflies — as a chemical known to cause cancer. Earlier this year the World Health Organization found that glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup, was a probable human carcinogen based on extensive research.

“California’s taking an important step toward protecting people and wildlife from this toxic pesticide,” said Dr. Nathan Donley, a staff scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “More than 250 million pounds of glyphosate are used each year in the United States, and the science is clear that it’s a threat to public health and countless wildlife species. It’s long past time to start reining in the out-of-control use of glyphosate in the United States.”

World usage of glyphosate is at an all-time high. Its use increased more than 20-fold, from 10 million pounds in 1990, largely due to the widespread adoption of crops, particularly corn and soy, that are genetically engineered to withstand what would otherwise be fatal doses of glyphosate. Accordingly, glyphosate residues are now found on 90 percent of soybean crops. In addition to being carcinogenic, recent research indicates, chronic, low-dose exposure to glyphosate can lead to liver and kidney damage.

“The spike in usage of glyphosate is really concerning because more use equals more exposure,” said Donley. “It’s nearly impossible for people to limit exposure to this toxin because it is just so widespread. That’s why we need much tighter controls on its use.”

Recent studies have pointed to glyphosate as one of the leading causes of the decline in monarch butterflies because it destroys milkweed, the monarch caterpillar’s sole food source. The ever-increasing use of Roundup on genetically engineered crops has nearly eliminated milkweed from midwestern agricultural fields, with devastating consequences for monarchs. Monarch butterflies have declined by more than 80 percent in the past 20 years — the same period of time during which glyphosate use has grown exponentially.

Last year the Center filed a petition to protect monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act because of the population declines associated with glyphosate. In June the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreed to analyze the effects of glyphosate on 1,500 endangered species in a historic settlement agreement with the Center.

This proposed listing from California under Proposition 65 will also include tetrachlorvinphos, parathion and malathion, three other pesticides with demonstrated carcinogenic potential.

Do Onion Farmers Hate the Arctic?

Op-Ed

Peel off the layers of the National Onion Association and you will find an organization that wants to despoil the Arctic with drilling for oil and gas, or maybe they just aren’t very smart and really believe that drilling for oil in the Arctic can be safe, just like fracking doesn’t frequently contaminate groundwater and emit massive amounts of methane and deepwater drilling didn’t result in the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon spill.

Earlier this year the National Onion Association, being the experts in Arctic ecology they are, expressed their “strong support for oil and gas development in the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)” by sending a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement recommending that drilling in the Arctic be approved.

The letter was provided to them by Shell Oil’s lobbying and lying organization “Consumer Energy Alliance”.

Maybe the onion-heads truly believe in the old dirty energy industry lies that the climate is not really changing and even if it was, it is just a natural variation in weather.  Or maybe their leadership is just corrupt and took money from the dinosaurs in the fossil fuel industry to lobby the feds.

Maybe it is time to boycott onions.

Please feel free to call the onion-heads at 970-353-5895 and let them know that you will be eating fewer onions in reaction to their stupidity and malice.

 

Ron Paul Campaign Staffers Nailed for Bribing Senator

Three members of a 2012 presidential campaign committee were charged with offenses relating to the concealment of payments made to a former Iowa State Senator.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge David J. LeValley of the FBI’s Washington, D.C., Field Office’s Criminal Division made the announcement.

“Federal campaign finance laws are intended to ensure the integrity and transparency of the federal election process,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “When political operatives make under-the-table payments to buy an elected official’s political support, it undermines public confidence in our entire political system.”

“Violating campaign finance laws by concealing payments to an elected official undermines our electoral system and deceives the public,” said Special Agent in Charge LeValley.  “The FBI will aggressively investigate those who corrupt the integrity of our democratic process.”

Jesse R. Benton, 37, of Louisville, Kentucky; John M. Tate, 53, of Warrenton, Virginia; and Dimitrios N. Kesari, 49, of Leesburg, Virginia, are charged by indictment with conspiracy, causing false records to obstruct a contemplated investigation, causing the submission of false campaign expenditure reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and engaging in a scheme to make false statements to the FEC.  Benton is additionally charged with making false statements to the FBI, and Kesari is also charged with obstruction of justice.

Kesari appeared in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa today.  Benton and Tate are scheduled to appear on Sept. 3, 2015.

The defendants were members of a campaign for Ron Paul in the 2012 presidential election.  According to allegations in the indictment, former Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson initially supported Michele Bachmann in the 2012 presidential election, but between October and December 2011, secretly negotiated with the defendants to switch his support to Ron Paul in exchange for money.  On Dec. 28, 2011, at a political event in Des Moines, Iowa, Sorenson publicly announced his switch of support.

The payments to Sorenson were allegedly made in monthly installments of approximately $8,000 each and ultimately amounted to over $70,000.  The indictment alleges that the defendants concealed the payments by causing them to be recorded – both in campaign accounting records and in FEC filings – as campaign-related audio-visual expenditures, and by causing them to be transmitted to a film production company and then to a second company that was controlled by Sorenson.  According to the indictment, the conspirators concealed their campaign’s payments to Sorenson from their candidate and also from the FEC, the FBI and the public.

The indictment further alleges that, in response to criticism of Sorenson’s change of support from one candidate to the other, the conspirators arranged for Sorenson to issue public statements denying allegations that he was offered money for his endorsement and noting that the campaign committee’s FEC filings would show that it made no payments to Sorenson.

On Aug. 27, 2014, Sorenson pleaded guilty to causing a campaign committee to falsely report its expenditures to the FEC and to obstruction of justice.  He has not yet been sentenced.

The charges and allegations contained in an indictment are merely accusations.  The defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington, D.C., Field Office, with assistance from the Omaha, Nebraska, Field Office and the Des Moines Resident Agency.  The case is being prosecuted by Director Richard C. Pilger of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section’s Election Crimes Branch and Trial Attorney Jonathan I. Kravis of the Public Integrity Section.

Benton et al Indictment

Alabama Cop Convicted for Assaulting Cuffed Prisoner

According to AlabamaBids.com, federal jury in Huntsville, Alabama, convicted Huntsville Police Department Officer Brett Russell, 48, of deprivation of rights under color of law for assaulting and injuring G.H., a detainee, as well as obstruction of justice for filing a false police report regarding this incident.

According to the evidence presented at trial, on Dec. 23, 2011, G.H. was detained in the rear of a police vehicle parked in a hotel parking lot.  After initially uttering profanity and kicking a rear window, G.H. sat handcuffed, compliant and nonresisting for approximately 30 minutes.  As officers attempted to remove G.H. from the vehicle to place leg shackles on him, Russell yanked G.H. from the vehicle.  While G.H. was lying handcuffed on the ground, the defendant repeatedly punched and kneed G.H.  Other officers placed leg shackles on G.H. and Russell then transported G.H. to the Madison County, Alabama, Jail.  When the jail refused to accept G.H. because of his injuries, Russell transported G.H.to the Huntsville Hospital.  Russell subsequently wrote and submitted a false report claiming that G.H. tried to kick and head butt the officers.  Further, Russell omitted from the false report any reference to the fact that he had used force on G.H.

Russell faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the civil rights charge and a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years for the obstruction charge.  Sentencing has yet to be scheduled, but will occur before U.S. District Court Judge Abdul K. Kallon in the Northern District of Alabama.

“The criminal behavior of this officer undermines the dedicated efforts of the vast majority of officers who serve honorably,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “The Justice Department is committed to holding officers who engage in such criminal acts accountable.”

“Most police officers honor their oaths, day in and day out, to uphold the law and protect the public, but this defendant disgraced his badge and used excessive force against a man in handcuffs,” said U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance of the Northern District of Alabama.  “This verdict reflects that abusing the authority of a police badge is a serious crime and it will be punished accordingly.  My office remains committed to aggressive civil rights enforcement, and I thank the FBI for its dedication to investigating and compiling evidence in these type of cases. ”

This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Florence Resident Agency.  It is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Carroll McCabe of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Fortune and Xavier O. Carter Sr. of the Northern District of Alabama.

Some CIA-Vatican Killers Charged in Death of Victor Jara

It has taken almost 42 years for a small measure of justice for Víctor Jara.  42 years to overcome some of the evil, fear, stupidity and apathy infecting the nation of Chile and finally indict some of the lower-level men who tortured and murdered Víctor Jara and thousands more.

This week, Chilean Judge Miguel Vázquez Plaza announced homicide and kidnapping charges against 10 former military officers involved in Jara’s death.

Jara’s widow, Joan Turner Jara, told reporters that the development offers a “message of hope,” and “we’re pushing forward in demanding justice for Víctor with the hope that justice will follow for everyone.”

On the morning of 12 September, 1973, thousands of Chile’s best and brightest men and women (and even some children) were rounded up and taken to the Chile National Stadium where they were brutally tortured and killed.  This occurred after the CIA orchestrated Coup that forcibly replaced Chile’s democratically elected and popular President, Salvador Allende, with a military dictatorship headed by Augusto Pinochet.

Víctor Jara was certainly one of Chile’s best and brightest. He was a beloved teacher, folk singer, playwright, and social activist who believed in democracy and human rights.

Victor Jara - teacher,  song-writer, playwright, musician and social leader.
Victor Jara – teacher, song-writer, playwright, musician and social leader.

Víctor Jara was born in poverty in 1932 to Manuel Jara and Amanda Martínez. By the age of 6, Víctor was already working in the fields. His abusive father left the family to fend for itself when Víctor he was a young child and his mother died when he was 15.

After the death of his mother, Víctor joined the Redemptorist Seminary of San Bernardo. Quickly disillusioned with the church, he left as soon as was old enough to survive on his own.

In 1957 he entered the School of Theater of the University of Chile. In 1960 he was made theater director and joined the board of the Theatre Institute. He directed several plays and won the Golden Laurel Award for best director of the year. In 1967 he was invited to Britain, where he received another award for his stage direction.

In September 2003, the thirtieth anniversary of the military coup, the Chilean government renamed the stadium where Jara was killed with the name of Víctor Jara National Stadium.

One of the major forces behind the coup  was German Jew Henry Kissinger, who urged President Richard Nixon to overthrow the democratically elected Allende government immediately after the election of Allende in 1970.

A serial war-criminal, Kissinger had been warned by National Security Council deputy Viron Vaky, that overthrowing Chile’s government would be “immoral” and that it would lead to “widespread violence and even insurrection.”

Not a fan of democracy or human rights, Kissinger told Nixon “the election of Allende as president of Chile poses for us one of the most serious challenges ever faced in this hemisphere”. By us, Kissinger meant multinational criminal corporations and their rabid right-wing politicians, not the American people.

Mass murderers Henry Kissinger and Augusto Pinochet.
Mass murderers Henry Kissinger and Augusto Pinochet.

A month after Victor Jara’s body was dumped in the street of a shanty town in Santiago, Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace prize his role in America’s war against the people of Vietnam, which killed more than 3 million Vietnamese and 50,000 Americans.

While the coup that overthrew Chile’s democratically elected and popular government was funded by the CIA and international corporations, the primary architects of the coup and subsequent fascist regime was the catholic cult Opus Dei.  The coup was planned by the Opus Dei think tank Institute for General Studies (IGS).  After the coup, many IGS technocrats became cabinet members and advisors to the ruling military junta.

Dictator Pinochet was a devout catholic and when confronted with his crimes in 2005 said “I suffer for these losses, but God does the deeds; He will pardon me if I exceeded in some, which I don’t think I did.”

The Vatican support of the coup and the subsequent Opus Dei reign of terror was not an anomaly or a case of a few bad apples within the church.  Following Pinochet’s arrest in 1998, Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Angelo Sodano, on behalf of the pope, sent a letter to the British government demanding the general’s release.  Monsters such as Pinochet, or even Hitler, were never excommunicated by the church, while many of those advocating human rights and democracy were.

Pope John Paul, II welcoming mass murder Augusto Pinochet to the Vatican.
Pope John Paul, II welcoming mass murder Augusto Pinochet to the Vatican.

For more information about the many crimes of the Vatican and CIA please read the 2015 book “Operation Gladio” by Professor Paul L. Williams.  It is a must read for anyone who wants to better understand the recent past and current events.

Víctor Jara may have been killed but his songs and message live on, memorialized by artists and musicians across Latin America and around the world. He is also remembered by his wife in her book Victor: An Unfinished Song.

In “Manifesto,” the last song he wrote before he was murdered, Jara declared:

I don’t sing for love of singing
or to show off my voice
but for the statements
made by my honest guitar
for its heart is of the earth
and like the dove it goes flying….

Yes, my guitar is a worker
shining and smelling of spring
my guitar is not for killers
greedy for money and power
but for the people who labor
so that the future may flower.
For a song takes on a meaning
when its own heart beat is strong
sung by a man who will die singing
truthfully singing his song.

Death by Doctor

“Trust your doctor” and “Doctor knows best” has been pounded in the heads Americans for the last 100 years and many people still believe it. Yet, you would be foolish to trust a doctor and doing so could kill you.

The reality is that in the United States, doctors are the third leading cause of premature death.

One good example of a criminal doctor is the Detroit area hematologist-oncologist who was sentenced to serve 45 years in prison for his role in a health care fraud scheme that included administering medically unnecessary infusions or injections to 553 individual patients and submitting to Medicare and private insurance companies approximately $34 million in fraudulent claims.

Some of the patients died from his treatments, yet he was not charged with murder.

Farid Fata, M.D., 50, of Oakland Township, Michigan, pleaded guilty in September 2014 to 13 counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks and two counts of money laundering.  U.S. District Judge Paul D. Borman of the Eastern District of Michigan imposed the sentence and ordered Fata to forfeit $17.6 million.

“Rather than use his medical degree to save lives, Dr. Fata instead destroyed them in pursuit of profit,”  said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “Time and again, Dr. Fata callously violated his patients’ trust as he used false cancer diagnoses and unwarranted and dangerous treatments as tools to steal millions of dollars from Medicare, even stooping to profit from the last days of some patients’ lives.  While no sentence can restore what was taken from his patients and their families, the sentence imposed ensures that never again will Dr. Fata lay hands on another patient.”

“Health care fraud has been a serious problem in Michigan, but no case has been as egregious as the conduct of Dr. Farid Fata,” said U.S. Attorney McQuade.  “Dr. Fata did not care for patients; he exploited them as commodities.  He over-treated, under-treated and outright lied to patients about whether they had cancer so that he could maximize his own profits.”

“Fata’s heinous acts did far worse than defraud government health care programs and breach his professional oath,” said Special Agent in Charge Abbate.  “Fata caused grievous emotional and physical harm, betraying the trust of hundreds of innocent patients by selfishly placing his personal financial gain over the health and welfare of those who entrusted him with their medical care.  The many brave individuals impacted by this defendant’s criminal acts had the strength to come forward, express their experiences of pain and suffering, and collaborate with law enforcement and prosecutors to ensure that Fata’s despicable actions were brought to an end and justice delivered.”

“It is startling and abhorrent when greed is so potent that it drives a medical professional to recklessly abandon the most basic and important principle of his profession, ‘First, Do No Harm,” said Special Agent in Charge Pugh.  “Dr. Fata did just that when he falsely diagnosed his patients with cancer and administered toxic chemotherapy with potentially harmful and even deadly side effects.  Today’s sentencing is a clear message that, working closely with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to investigate, charge and prosecute medical professionals who jeopardize the health of patients.”

“This is the most egregious case of fraud and deception that I have seen in my career,” said Chief Weber.  “Dr. Fata not only defrauded the government out of millions of dollars, but he lied to his patients about their health and intentionally put their lives at risk.  In fact, because of his lies, some of those patients who he was entrusted to care for likely died as a result of his actions.  This defendant ‎greedily cared more about his own financial well-being than the lives of his patients.  This disgusting and diabolical scheme has hurt hundreds of patients and their families and stolen from them something that no punishment from the court can do to make them whole.”

As set forth at sentencing, Fata was a licensed medical doctor who owned and operated a cancer treatment clinic, Michigan Hematology Oncology P.C. (MHO), which had locations in Rochester Hills, Michigan; Clarkston, Michigan; Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Lapeer, Michigan; Sterling Heights, Michigan; Troy, Michigan; and Oak Park, Michigan.  He also owned a diagnostic testing facility, United Diagnostics PLLC, located in Rochester Hills, Michigan.

In connection with his guilty plea, Fata admitted to prescribing and administering unnecessary aggressive chemotherapy, cancer treatments, intravenous iron and other infusion therapies to patients in order to increase his billings to Medicare and other insurance companies.  Fata then submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare and other insurers for these unnecessary treatments.

Fata also admitted to soliciting kickbacks from Guardian Angel Hospice and Guardian Angel Home Health Care in exchange for his referral of patients to those facilities.

Fata further admitted to using the proceeds of the health care fraud at his medical practice, MHO, to promote the carrying on of additional health care fraud at United Diagnostics, where he administered unnecessary and expensive positron emission tomography (PET) scans for which he billed a private insurer.

This case was investigated by the FBI, HHS-OIG and IRS-CI and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Michigan.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Catherine K. Dick, Deputy Chief Gejaa T. Gobena, and Trial Attorney Matthew C. Thuesen of the Fraud Section, and by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Resnick Cohen, White Collar Crime Unit Chief John K. Neal, and Health Care Fraud Unit Chief Wayne F. Pratt of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Michigan.