PORTLAND, Maine — A Falmouth dermatologist was found guilty Friday of five counts of tax evasion, 52 counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances and one count of health care fraud, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Dr. Joel A. Sabean, 69, of Falmouth was indicted in October 2015. The indictment alleged that Sabean took more than $3 million in fraudulent medical deductions between 2008 and 2012. It also accused the physician of owing more than $893,000 in back income taxes.
The indictment also accused Sabean of knowingly and intentionally distributing and dispensing controlled substances outside the usual course of professional medical practice and without legitimate medical purposes more than 50 times between December 2010 and January 2014.
The conviction follows a two-week jury trial in U.S. District Court.
According to court records, between January 2008 and December 2013, Sabean sent more than $2.3 million to a relative in Florida and had her fabricate and send him phony medical bills so he could write off $3 million in medical expenses on tax returns between 2008 and 2013.
From 2007 through 2014, Sabean allegedly wrote invalid prescriptions for the relative, in her name and the names of others, for controlled and noncontrolled drugs, some of which were illegally reimbursed by the defendant’s insurance company that did not cover the relative. These prescriptions were invalid because, among other things, they were issued to a close family member who was not a patient without a medical examination.
Sabean faces up to 10 years in prison on the health care fraud charges and up to five years on the other 57 counts. He could be fined up to $250,000 and be ordered to pay restitution and back taxes. He will be sentenced after a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.