Dermatologist guilty of tax, drug, fraud charges

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PORTLAND — A Falmouth doctor was found guilty of tax evasion, drug distribution and health-care fraud in U.S. District Court on Friday.

Joel A. Sabean, 69, was found guilty Nov. 18 of five counts of tax evasion, 52 counts of drug distribution for other than legitimate purposes, and one count of health-care fraud.  He was indicted Oct. 20, 2015.

Between 2008 and 2013, Sabean, whose dermatology practice is in South Portland, sent more than $2.3 million to a relative in Florida, who would then fabricate and send him phony medical bills so that he could write off about $3 million in medical expenses on his 2008 through 2012 income tax returns, federal prosecutors said.

From 2007 to 2014, he also wrote invalid prescriptions for that relative, in her name and others, for controlled and non-controlled drugs. Some of them were illegally reimbursed by Sabean’s insurance company, which did not cover the relative.

Sabean could face up to five years in prison and a $100,000 fine on the tax charges; up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the drug charges; and up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the health-care fraud charges. He will be sentenced after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office. 

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