Dr. Rassan M. Tarabein, of Fairhope, Alabama, has pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud and unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. The physician has been banned from practicing medicine and prescribing controlled substances in the US.
According to his own admissions, between 2004 and May 2017, Dr Tarabein used his clinic, Eastern Shore Neurology and Pain Center, to bill Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers for tests and procedures that were not medically justified.
The pain management specialist told the court that he falsified patient records, discriminated against Alabama Medicaid patients, and prescribed schedule II controlled substances without any medical necessity.
At a time when prescription drug addiction is rampant in America, doctors who prescribe controlled substances for their own personal gain are increasingly under the radar of both federal and state prosecutors.
“The abuse of prescription drugs is a serious problem in our communities. All too often, this abuse leads to addiction, shattered lives, and even death. For the health and safety of our citizens, DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to target those who illegally distribute these potentially dangerous drugs,” DEA Special Agent Stephen G. Azzam has commented.
Dr. Tarabein was arrested in June of last year after he received a 22-count indictment that included charges of healthcare fraud, lying to a federal agent, and money laundering. Sentencing will take place in March, 2018, and the defendant could face up to 30 years in prison.
As part of his guilty plea, Tarabein admitted to:
- Immoral, unprofessional or dishonorable conduct
- Practicing medicine in a manner as to endanger the health of patients
- Prescribing medication for reasons other than a legitimate medical need
- Prescribing excessive pain medications
- Ordering excessive epidural blocks
- Prescribing excessive narcotics
- Prescribing excessive doses of Lortab, Percocet, Percodan or Tylox
- Ordering unnecessary tests
- Prescribing Lortab and Demoral without any attempt to discover the cause of patients’ pain
Prosecutors have introduced evidence that he laundered millions of dollars overseas. According to court documents, he made several multi-million dollar transfers and occasionally threatened both patients and employees.
For Acting United States Attorney Butler, the guilty plea agreement “reinforces our office’s dedication to protecting the public from corrupt physicians. Doctors who exploit patients through medically unnecessary services to line their own pockets have no place in our healthcare system. I commend the investigators who unraveled Dr. Tarabein’s scam for their commitment to uproot health care fraud.”
According to Attorney General Steve Marshall, it was the cooperation between the Alabama Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and federal law enforcement that secured the fraudster’s arrest and his subsequent guilty plea. Marshall referred to the defendant as someone who, “not only violated his oath to his patients, but stole taxpayer money set aside to provide care for our most vulnerable citizens.”
Medicaid and Medicare fraud cost taxpayers billions each year. If you know of a healthcare provider that is cheating Medicaid, Medicare or TRICARE in Alabama or elsewhere, you can stop the conduct and you might be eligible for a substantial reward. Call us at 888.742.7248 Or Check Your Reward Info Eligibility Online