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Archive for the ‘SCAMMERS FRAUD’ Category

He pumped poisonous chemotherapy drugs into patients for years, telling them they had cancer. They didn’t.

He over-treated terminal cancer patients rather than letting them die peacefully. When he could profit from it, he also under-treated actual cancer patients.

Melinda Tolar holds a picture of her father, Stanton Richard Lamb, who died while be treated by Fata without cancer.image

Melinda Tolar holds a picture of her father, Stanton Richard Lamb, who died while being treated  without cance rby Fata . Photo: Todd McInturf/AP

And on Friday, nearly two years after his arrest, Dr Farid Fata was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison for violating more than 550 patients’ trust and raking in more than $US17 million ($22 million) from fraudulent billings.

For many people tortured by Oakland County oncologist’s treatments, it was a weak punishment.

“He killed my husband,” said Patricia Loewen of Prudenville, whose husband, Kenneth Paul Loewen, died in September at age 62. She said the former cancer doctor, now age 50, deserves to never be freed.

FATA Victims and their families outside the federal courthouse image

Victims and their families outside the federal courthouse. Photo: David Guralnick/AP

Loewen was one of hundreds of victims over-treated, misdiagnosed or under-treated so Fata could fraudulently rake in millions. Federal prosecutors call it the most egregious case of fraud case they’ve ever seen.

“This is a huge, horrific series of criminal acts that were committed by the defendant,” US District Judge Paul Borman said before sentencing Fata, saying the once-prominent oncologist “practiced greed and shut down whatever compassion he had.”

Borman, who sentenced Fata to 45 years total on multiple counts of health care fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks, said the crimes called for “a very significant sentence for very, very terrible conduct.”

Ellen Piligian speaks about her father, a former patient of Dr Farid Fata image

Ellen Piligian speaks about her father, a former patient of Dr Farid Fata. Photo: Paul Sancya/AP

US Attorney Barbara McQuade’s prosecutors asked for 175 years, the maximum. She said afterward that the result was “close to a life sentence,” and that she didn’t expect the case to be so egregious when they’d started on it.

“Chemotherapy, as you know, is poison,” McQuade said. “Dr Fata gave poison to people who didn’t even have cancer … to make money.”

Loewen said 45 years is a poor deterrent to other bad doctors. Parole isn’t possible in the federal case, but Fata could be released while he’s still alive because of good behaviour while in prison.

A McQuade spokeswoman said she didn’t know how much credit Fata could get for behaving himself, and a spokesman with the Federal Department of Prisons didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

Not all victims were upset with Borman’s sentence.

Sydney Zaremba’s 87-year-old mother died less than four months after Fata started chemotherapy for a stage one (early stage) tumour in her neck. She said it was confirmed her mother was over-treated with support drugs, and that she didn’t deserve to die the way she did.

Cheryl Blades hugs a lady who asked not to be identified after the sentencing. The lady was treated by Fata while she was pregnant twice and is still treated for an unknown condition.

Cheryl Blades hugs a lady who asked not to be identified after the sentencing. The lady was treated by Fata while she was pregnant twice and is still treated for an unknown condition. Photo: Todd McInturf/AP

“Of course, everybody would want to see life,” Zaremba said of Fata’s sentence. “No matter what happens, nobody wins in this situation. There will never be justice.”

She said she believes Borman gave Fata 45 years knowing that if the sentence is appealed, “whoever takes that on will look at it and say, ‘That’s pretty reasonable.'”

Loewen’s husband had esophageal cancer, and she said Fata started chemotherapy before he had a chance to heal from surgery. And her husband was put on Neulasta, a drug so strong it knocked him “to the ground and on the couch for days,” she said.

“It only made my husband sicker,” she said. “And to find out the Neulasta shots were unnecessary, I’m just devastated.”

Loewen said her husband was scheduled for eight radiation treatments one day after Fata was arrested; when they went to different doctors, they learned he didn’t even need radiation

Dr Farid Fata has been jailed for 45 years image

Fata, who openly wept in court Friday as he apologised for his actions, admitted to fraudulently billing Medicare, insurance companies and at least 550 patients through misdiagnoses, overtreatment and undertreatment. In some cases, he gave nearly four times the recommended dosage amount of aggressive cancer drugs; in at least one, a patient was given toxic chemotherapy for five years when the standard treatment was six months, according to former patients and experts who testified in court this week.

“I misused my talents … because of power and greed. My quest for power is self-destructive,” Fata told the court before sentencing. He said he is “horribly ashamed of my conduct” and prays for repentance.

Zaremba said she believes Fata was sincere.

“I actually cried,” she said, adding that the educated, Christian man with such training to help people must feel intense remorse. “I had felt pity the first time I saw him come in in shackles.”

Defense attorney Christopher Andreoff asked Borman to sentence Fata to no more than 25 years in prison, saying even that could be a life sentence because of Fata’s health.

“Our recommendation will give him nothing more than a chance for release before he dies,” Andreoff said.

US Assistant Prosecutor Catherine Dick told the court her office has “never seen anything like this before. … And that is because of the harm.”

“Fata was greedy, and he wanted that money,” Dick said. “What this defendant did is unquantifiable. There is no way to quantify the suffering.”

Dick said patients died in horrible pain from Fata’s treatments.

Borman had set the sentencing guidelines to 30 years to life on Thursday based on the charges and circumstances.

“My role … is to impose a sentence sufficient but not greater than necessary,” Borman said Friday morning.

The federal court this week heard accounts of about 22 victims, who shared unthinkable experiences of a healthy adult undergoing chemotherapy and losing nearly all his teeth, of a patient diagnosed with lung cancer when he had kidney cancer, and more. Some statements were read by family members of patients who died.

Some patients with no documented iron deficiencies were given overwhelming amounts of iron, while others were given lower-than-needed doses of chemotherapy drugs, experts testified.

McQuade called his case the “the most egregious” health care fraud case her office has seen. On Friday after sentencing, she applauded the whistleblower office manager who tipped off investigators. She also thanked the victims for their help in prosecuting and applauded the cooperation among the FBI, IRS and US Department of Health and Human Services in bringing Fata to justice.

Fata, arrested in August 2013, pleaded guilty last September to 13 counts of health care fraud, two counts of money laundering and one count of conspiring to pay and receive kickbacks. The case involves $US34.7 million ($46 million) in billings to patients and insurance companies, and $17.6 million ($23 million) paid for work Fata admitted was unnecessary. He remains incarcerated, and his medical license has been revoked.

The former doctor has agreed to forfeit $US17.6 million ($23 million) and a number of assets in the case. The sentencing hearing began Monday and has also included testimony from experts on behalf of prosecutors, as well as statements from victims who support Fata.

Gregory Cadd of White Lake said Fata should’ve gotten double the sentence, and he doesn’t care about getting any money.

“I don’t want anything back from him,” he said. “If anyone shoves a check in my hand, I’m going to find the nearest charity that I can to give it to in the name of my father.”

Cadd said his father’s good insurance policy and lung cancer is what led to the over-treatment by Fata, who “just kept it up, kept it up until finally my father passed away because of that monster,” Cadd said, becoming tearful. “That’s all he ever was is a monster out to live off people’s pain and suffering, and wanted to live the good life.”

Fata, a married father of three and a naturalised US citizen whose native country is Lebanon, was charged with running the scheme that involved billing the government for medically unnecessary cancer and blood treatments. His family has moved out of the country, and his attorney said he is lonely while incarcerated.

The government said Fata ran the scheme from 2009 to 2014 through his medical businesses, including Michigan Hematology Oncology Centres, with offices in Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, Troy and Oak Park.

The once highly-respected doctor clutched a handkerchief while addressing the court Friday, his voice becoming high-pitched with emotions at times.

“I have violated the medical oath, and I have caused anguish, hardship and pain to my patients and their families,” he said. “They came to me seeking compassion and care. I failed them.”

He didn’t visibly react when the sentence was read or when he was handcuffed and escorted from the courtroom.

Henry Sapiecha

Tokyo: Japanese police have arrested a man for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting more than 100 women who believed they were taking part in a medical study, detectives and local media said Tuesday.

Detectives say scores of women responded to adverts seeking volunteers for “clinical research measuring blood pressure during sleep” over two years to November 2013.

They believe Hideyuki Noguchi, 54, gave the women sedatives after luring them to hotels and hot spring resorts.

Once the women were unconscious, he raped them and filmed each assault, police said.

Footage of the attacks was posted on the internet or sold to producers of porn films, allegedly netting Noguchi more than 10 million yen ($110,417.50), TBS and other broadcasters said.

Noguchi is not know to have any medical training or expertise.

A spokesman for police in Chiba, east of Tokyo, said officers had confirmed at least 39 victims, aged from their teens to their 40s in Tokyo, Chiba, Osaka, Tochigi and Shizuoka.

Detectives believe they are just a fraction of the total number of women whom Noguchi attacked, thought to number well over 100, media reports said.



Henry Sapiecha


Published on 4 Mar 2014

Forbes:”If indeed, $50 billion was lost, as apparently Madoff claims, it is the largest such fraud in history, and one that might even shame the conman whose name is attached to this brand of deception. In 1920, Charles Ponzi, an Italian immigrant, began advertising that he could make a 50% return for investors in only 45 days. Incredibly, Ponzi began taking in money from all over New England and New Jersey. By July of 1920, he was making millions as people mortgaged their homes and invested their life savings. As with all frauds, he was discovered to have a jail record and was indicted on 86 counts of fraud. Some tens of millions of dollars were invested with him.”

In the streamlined (if somewhat simplified) opening of Ripped Off: Madoff and the Scamming of America, it is noted that “he puts a face on what we’ve all been feeling.” It’s a succinct and accurate characterization of the man who ran an elaborate, decades-long Ponzi scheme, bilking countless private investors and charities out of an estimated $65 billion dollars. The disclosure of his fraud, in the midst of the worst economic landscape since the Great Depression, grafted the face of a real-life villain onto the greed and excess of the Bush years–it’s hard to personify (or even understand) a credit default swap or a NINA loan, but this was a guy that we could point at and say, “Him! Get him!”

The History Channel’s short documentary examination of the Madoff scandal utilizes interviews with journalists, historians, and victims, in addition to some excellent archival footage (particularly those chilling tapes of Madoff holding court in the late 1990s as a wise elder statesman of the financial world). The special contains some valuable biographical information, not only of Madoff’s humble beginnings as a Queens-born stock broker, but of Carlo Ponzi (the namesake of the Ponzi scheme) and other con artists who operated in Madoff’s style, though perhaps not to his excess.

There’s plenty of solid information to be found here–how the lure of the Madoff investment was its exclusivity (he didn’t let just anyone throw away their money with him) and it’s slow steady performance (one victim notes, quite convincingly, “this was not a get-rich-quick scheme”); the tale of Harry Markopolis, the financial analyst who attempted, for the better part of a decade, to alert the SEC that Madoff was a crook; and the tragic story of Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, the hedge fund operator who responded to the news that his fund’s $1.4 billion investment with Madoff wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on by slashing his wrists in his Manhattan office.

The documentary moves a breakneck pace, a flurry of images and definitions and images and soundbites, though for all of the information it contains, it occasionally sacrifices nuance for the sake of a quick pulse. The misfortune of Ripped Off is that it follows Frontline’s superior examination of the scandal, The Madoff Affair, into the marketplace; that program was simply stronger, with better access to more people on the inside and a more in-depth analysis of the Madoff story. Taken on its own terms, however, Ripped Off is a solid, if less than spectacular, television documentary program.


Henry Sapiecha




Henry Sapiecha




Deceived: Tracee Douglas believed she was engaged to US soldier 'Robert Sigfrid', but was instead being wooed by a Nigerian scammer.

Deceived: Tracee Douglas believed she was engaged to US soldier ‘Robert Sigfrid’, but was instead being wooed by a Nigerian scammer. Photo: Edwina Pickles

There is something about men in uniform — and perhaps women in uniform — that is appealing and romantic. Hundreds, or perhaps thousands of scammers take advantage of military attraction to separate unsuspecting targets from their money.

Here’s how they work: Con artists working out of Internet cafés — often in Africa — troll through dating sites, Facebook and other websites, striking up acquaintances with lonely people, usually women. They talk about the dangerous but important work they do in Afghanistan, Iraq or other distant locations. They confess their feelings of love for their targets. Then they ask the targets for money to pay for “leave requests,” “communication fees,” “transportation costs” or some other financial need. Thousands of targets actually send money — sometimes a lot of money. It’s gone forever.

The problem has gotten so bad that last year the Army Criminal Investigation Command sent out a press release to warn the public, which is reprinted below.

I frequently hear from people who have been targeted by these scams. Some of them get suspicious and dump the con artists; others fall for the ruse and lose money. Why, exactly do people fall for romance scams? I addressed this in a previous article:

Why we fall for romance scams

Over the next few days, Lovefraud will publish a series of these military romance scams so you can see what they look like. The audacity of the perpetrators is mind-blowing.

U.S. Army CID Pleads with Public, Warns Against Romance Scams

Female victims being cyber-robbed daily by thugs claiming to be U.S. servicemen

QUANTICO, Va. Nov 26, 2012 – Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command are once again warning internet users worldwide, to be extra vigilant and not to fall prey to internet scams or impersonation fraud – especially scams promising true love, but only end up breaking hearts and bank accounts.

According to Army CID Special Agents, CID continues to receive hundreds of reports from people worldwide, of various scams involving persons pretending to be U.S. Soldiers serving in Afghanistan or somewhere else in the world.  The victims are most often unsuspecting women, 30 to 55 years old, who think they are romantically involved on the internet with an American Soldier, when in fact they are being cyber-robbed by perpetrators thousands of miles away.

“We cannot stress enough that people need to stop sending money to persons they meet on the internet and claim to be in the U.S. military,” said Chris Grey, Army CID’s spokesman. “It is heartbreaking to hear these stories over and over again of people who have sent thousands of dollars to someone they have never met and sometimes have never even spoken to on the phone.”

The majority of the “romance scams,” as they have been dubbed, are being perpetrated on social media, dating-type websites where unsuspecting females are the main target.

The criminals are pretending to be U.S. servicemen, routinely serving in a combat zone.  The perpetrators will often take the true rank and name of a U.S. Soldier who is honorably serving his country somewhere in the world, marry that up with some photographs of a Soldier off the internet, and then build a false identity to begin prowling the internet for victims.

“We have even seen instances where the Soldier was killed in action and the crooks have used that hero’s identity to perpetrate their twisted scam,” said CID Special Agent Matthew Ivanjack, who has fielded hundreds of calls and emails from victims.

The scams often involve carefully worded romantic requests for money from the victim to purchase special laptop computers, international telephones, military leave papers, and transportation fees to be used by the fictitious “deployed Soldier” so their false relationship can continue.  The scams include asking the victim to send money, often thousands of dollars at a time, to a third party address.

Once victims are hooked, the criminals continue their ruse.

“We’ve even seen instances where the perpetrators are asking the victims for money to purchase “leave papers” from the Army, help pay for medical expenses from combat wounds or help pay for their flight home so they can leave the war zone,” said Grey.

These scams are outright theft and are a grave misrepresentation of the U.S. Army and the tremendous amount of support programs and mechanisms that exist for Soldiers today, especially those serving overseas, said Grey.

Along with the romance type scams, CID has been receiving complaints from citizens worldwide that they have been the victims of other types of scams – once again where a cyber crook is impersonating a U.S. servicemember.  One version usually involves the sale of a vehicle; where the servicemember claims to be living overseas and has to quickly sell their vehicle because they are being sent to another duty station.  After sending bogus information regarding the vehicle, the seller requests the buyer do a wire transfer to a third party to complete the purchase. When in reality, the entire exchange is a ruse for the crook to get the wire transfer and leave the buyer high and dry, with no vehicle.


Army CID is warning people once again to be very suspicious if they begin a relationship on the internet with someone claiming to be an American Soldier and within a matter of weeks, the alleged Soldier is asking for money, as well as their hand in marriage.

Many of these cases have a distinct pattern to them, explained Grey.

“These are not Soldiers, they are outright thieves. If someone asked you out on a first date and before they picked you up they asked you for $3,000 to fix their car to come get you, many people would find that very suspicious and certainly would not give them the money.  This is the same thing, except over the internet.” said Grey.

The perpetrators often tell the victims that their units do not have telephones or they are not allowed to make calls or they need money to “help keep the Army internet running.”  They often say they are widowers and raising a young child on their own to pull on the heartstrings of their victims.

“We’ve even seen where the criminals said that the Army won’t allow the Soldier to access their personal bank accounts or credit cards,” said Grey.

All lies, according to CID officials.

“These perpetrators, often from other countries, most notably from West African countries are good at what they do and quite familiar with American culture, but the claims about the Army and its regulations are ridiculous,” said Grey.

The Army reports that numerous very senior officers and enlisted Soldiers throughout the Army have had their identities stolen to be used in these scams.

To date, there have been no reports to Army CID indicating any U.S. service members have suffered any financial loss as a result of these attacks.  Photographs and actual names of U.S. service members have been the only thing utilized.  On the contrary, the victims have lost thousands. In one extreme example, a woman from New York took out a second mortgage on her home to get money to help her “Soldier.”  She lost more than $60,000.  More recently, a woman from Great Britain told CID officials she had sent more than $75,000 to the con artists.

“The criminals are preying on the emotions and patriotism of their victims,” added Grey.

The U.S. has established numerous task force organizations to deal with this and other growing issues; unfortunately, the people committing these scams are using untraceable email addresses on “Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail,” etc., routing accounts through numerous locations around the world, and utilizing pay-per-hour Internet cyber cafes, which often times maintain no accountability of use. The ability of law enforcement to identify these perpetrators is very limited, so individuals must stay on the alert and be personally responsible to protect themselves.

“Another critical issue is we don’t want victims who do not report this crime walking away and thinking that a U.S. serviceman has ripped them off when in fact that serviceman is honorably serving his country and often not even aware that his pictures or identity have been stolen,” said Grey.

What to look for:

  • DON’T EVER SEND MONEY! Be extremely suspicious if you are asked for money for transportation costs, communication fees or marriage processing and medical fees.
  • If you do start an internet-based relationship with someone, check them out, research what they are telling you with someone who would know, such as a current or former service member.
  • Be very suspicious if you never get to actually speak with the person on the phone or are told you cannot write or receive letters in the mail.  Servicemen and women serving overseas will often have an APO or FPO mailing address. Internet or not, service members always appreciate a letter in the mail.
  • Many of the negative claims made about the military and the supposed lack of support and services provided to troops overseas are far from reality – check the facts.
  • Be very suspicious if you are asked to send money or ship property to a third party or company. Often times the company exists, but has no idea or is not a part of the scam.
  • Be aware of common spelling, grammatical or language errors in the emails.

Where to go for help:

Report the theft to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) (FBI-NW3C Partnership).


Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Your report helps law enforcement officials across the United States in their investigations.








Published on 15 Apr 2012

From high profile office buildings to shady street corners scammers are everywhere. Although we may be tempted to think that we’re smart enough to avoid their underhanded scheming everyday thousands of people are conned out of their money and countless lives are ruined. In order to help keep you from becoming another statistic we’ve compiled this list of 25 scams you should watch out for.



Police say the con artist has pulled off the Gumtree scam about 300 times.

Police are on the hunt for an online scammer who may have preyed upon more than 300 people in the past year.

Victoria Police is investigating the extensive series of scams which have been conducted on the online buying and selling website Gumtree since June of 2012.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the victims of the con were members of the public based throughout Victoria and across Australia.

The scam involves a man contacting people who have posted ‘wanted’ advertisements on the Gumtree website.

The man claims to have the item the victim is searching for.

A price and terms are negotiated and the offender forwards personal banking details.

The man then asks where the buyer lives and claims to live nearby, but is reportedly unable to drop the goods off in person because of interstate work.

But once the victim has transferred money to the man’s account the offender severs all contact.

Information from the victims has led investigators to believe the scam may have been committed more than 300 times.

The scams so far have involved the attempted purchase of goods including mobile phones, iPads, electronic tablets and gift cards from stores including Coles, Myer and JB Hifi.

The offender has also been known to provide documents such as a passport, driver’s licence and card details in order to alleviate any buyer concerns.

The man’s banking details are most commonly for ANZ, Westpac, St George or Bendigo banks.

Investigators would like to hear from anyone in Victoria who has been the victim of a similar fraud.

Police are warning people to ensure they undertake thorough research before making payment.

The police spokeswoman said reports of online scams could be made to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Anyone with information about similar incidents can also contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit


bleeding heart red on black image

Lonely and unfamiliar with the world of internet dating, Peter* was “just looking for a nice lady” when an attractive woman introduced herself via an online dating site.

“She sounded genuine and the photos looked good. I thought everything was alright – the way she spoke, the things she used to say,” says the 66-year-old pensioner and retired tyre-fitter from Dubbo.

The pair exchanged phone numbers and spoke nearly every day. A few weeks later, the woman began asking for money.

“It started off, could I lend her $500? … She had me believe there was going to be a relationship and she was going to move in here with me,” he says. “It ended up to about $9500.”

Peter is one of thousands of Australians whom fraudsters have left not just broken-hearted, but also broke.

Nearly one-third of the $90 million swindled from Australians last year was swiped from people searching for love, a new report into targeting scams shows.

Dating and romance-related fraud netted $25.2 million last year, up 8 per cent on the previous year, making it the top scam by total losses, according to the latest report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Romance-related scams also yielded some of the highest returns per victim, accounting for nearly 30 per cent of money lost but only 3 per cent of reported scams. Those who fell for romance-related scams lost an average of $21,200 each – more than three times the $7000 average loss across all reported scams.

ACCC deputy chairwoman Delia Rickard said relationship scams caused the most emotional and economic harm to victims, with fraudsters investing substantial effort into researching their victims.

“They’re very good at tapping into people’s emotions. They will spend weeks, months, even years, really building a trust relationship,” she said.

That an increasing number of people are meeting genuine partners online has made others more vulnerable to victimisation through internet dating sites. She said the ACCC was working with dating and romance sites to implement proper security.

“People want to find love … and a lot of people are in a very vulnerable state when they do fall for [these scams]. We often see that people are recently divorced, recently widowed, lonely.”

She said that many fraudsters combined strategies such as romance and business opportunity scams or advance fee fraud and identity theft. “They’ll get personal information or bank account information that will enable them to commit further fraud down the line.”

Advanced fee/upfront payment schemes reaped the second biggest cash haul, with just under $25 million pinched last year. This was followed by computer prediction software and investment scams.

Phishing and identity theft showed the largest increase in number, leaping 73 per cent from 2012 to become the second-most common type of scam.

People were most likely to fall for health and medical scams, with more than one in two people reporting this kind of scam losing money. Online shopping and psychic/clairvoyant schemes were the next most convincing, according to the report.

One in three victims lost between $100 and $499, suggesting scammers continued to favour high-volume scams such as those asking victims for a small upfront payment to secure a larger sum of money “owed” to them by an organisation.

One in 10 lost more than $10,000. Only two of losses more than $1 million were reported to the consumer watchdog last year, with losses of several million dollars linked to sports betting schemes.

More than 91,000 complaints were made to the consumer watchdog last year, a four-fold increase from 2009. In a positive sign however, scammers raked in 5 per cent less money than the year before, although the ACCC said many scams go unreported.

The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics personal fraud survey estimates Australians lost $1.4 billion to fraud – more than 15 times the loss reported to the ACCC last year.

* Name changed

Top 5 ways to identify scammers online

You’ve never met or seen them: Scammers will say anything to avoid a face-to-face meeting, whether in person or over the internet via a video chat.

They’re not who they appear to be: Scammers steal photos and profiles from real people to create an appealing facade. Run a Google Image search on photos and search words in their description to check if they are the real deal.

They ask to chat with you privately: Scammers will try to move the conversation away from the scrutiny of community platforms.

You don’t know a lot about them: Scammers are keen to get to know you as much as possible but are less forthcoming about themselves.

They ask you for money: Don’t fall for a tall tale, no matter how plausible it sounds.


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