Pharmaceutical exec gets 5 years in prison for $74M Medicare, Tricare fraud

The general manager of California-based pharmaceutical company NHS was sentenced to five years in prison and agreed to pay a $950,000 civil settlement for his role in a fraud scheme that cost Medicare and Tricare nearly $75 million. 

The U.S. Justice Department said that Brett Sabado, 34, of Sandy Springs, Ga., conspired with the owners of durable medical equipment supply companies to submit false claims to Medicare for medically unnecessary items, including braces for the arm, leg, back, wrist and neck.

Mr. Sabado warehoused, packaged and shipped thousands of the fraudulent orders to Medicare beneficiaries, according to a June 29 Justice Department news release, and he received $5 to $15 kickbacks for each brace he shipped.     

He also received illegal kickbacks for Tricare referrals and prescriptions of compound medication formulations including pain creams, scar creams, and multivitamins devised to maximize profits, according to the news release. 

The schemes occured from at least June 2014 until at least May 2020, according to court records. The schemes cost Medicare nearly $70 million and Tricare about $4.5 million.

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