South Portland doctor put on probation, will surrender license

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Dermatologist Dr. Joel Sabean has been placed on probation and will lose his licence to practice after he is sentenced for crimes including federal tax evasion.

The Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine and the state Office of the Attorney General announced a consent agreement with Sabean, 69, who was found guilty in U.S. District Court in November of five counts of tax evasion, 52 counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances, and one count of health-care fraud.

Sabean is barred from accepting new patients and from prescribing or distributing controlled substances, and will surrender his medical license when he is sentenced on March 21, 2017, the board said Dec. 21.

Sabean, who has an office on Cottage Road and lives in Falmouth, was indicted Oct. 20, 2015.

Between 2008 and 2013 he 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 2008-2012 income tax returns, federal prosecutors previously said.

From 2007-2014, 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.