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Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Pharmacist Charged in $4 Million Health Care Fraud and Kickback Scheme
A New York man was arrested today for his role in a conspiracy to commit health care fraud and to pay kickbacks and bribes to customers for expensive prescription orders in connection with more than $4 million in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.
According to an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of New York, Robert John Sabet, 44, of Brooklyn, was the owner of Brooklyn Chemists in Gravesend, Brooklyn, and Lucky Care Pharmacy in Flushing, Queens. Since September 2016, Sabet allegedly conspired to bill Medicare and Medicaid for expensive prescription drugs that were not eligible for reimbursement because, among other reasons, they were not needed or not dispensed. Sabet also allegedly conspired to pay kickbacks and bribes to customers to convince them to fill prescriptions at his pharmacies, and to pay customers cash in exchange for the ability to bill Medicare and Medicaid for over-the-counter health care-related products on their behalf.
In December 2020, Sabet allegedly wired nearly $100,000 from Lucky Care’s bank accounts to an automobile dealership to pay for a luxury car. Investigators conducted a search warrant at Sabet’s home at the time of his arrest and seized a 2020 Porsche Taycan worth over $250,000, as well as cash and luxury goods.
Sabet is charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States by paying kickbacks and bribes in connection with the provision of health care services, and unlawfully spending the proceeds of his fraud. The defendant is scheduled for his initial court appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit health care fraud, five years in prison for conspiracy to pay kickbacks and bribes, and 10 years in prison for unlawful spending. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting U.S. Attorney Seth D. DuCharme of the Eastern District of New York; Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert of the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), New York Regional Office; Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen of IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), New York; and Acting Medicaid Inspector General Frank T. Walsh Jr. of the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) made the announcement.
HHS-OIG, IRS-CI, and OMIG are investigating the case.
Trial Attorney Miriam L. Glaser Dauermann of the Justice Department’s Fraud Section is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.