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Owner of Brooklyn and Queens pharmacies charged in healthcare fraud and kickback scheme

March 18, 2021 Raanan Geberer
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Robert John Sabet, the owner of Brooklyn Chemists in Gravesend, Brooklyn, and Lucky Care Pharmacy in Flushing, Queens, has been charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to defraud by paying kickbacks and bribes in connection with the provision of health care services, and unlawfully spending the proceeds of his fraud, as was set forth in an indictment unsealed on Wednesday in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Sabet was arraigned Wednesday afternoon via videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr. 

According to the indictment, since September 2016, Sabet allegedly conspired to bill Medicare and Medicaid for expensive prescription drugs that were not eligible for reimbursement because 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 more than $250,000, as well as cash and luxury goods.

If convicted, Sabet faces a maximum sentence 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, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

“The defendant’s alleged participation in health care fraud, and his payment of kickbacks and bribes, corrupted the trusted relationship between pharmacies and patients, and potentially harmed the very people that the Medicare and Medicaid programs are intended to serve,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme.

“Many Americans rely heavily on the social safety nets provided by Medicare and Medicaid when they are needed,” stated IRS Special Agent-in-Charge Jonathan D. Larsen.  “Benefiting personally as alleged impacts all of us both today and tomorrow.”

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Miriam L. Glaser Dauermann of the Justice Department’s Fraud Section. The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

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