NYC pharmacist charged in $4M kickback, fraud scheme

A New York City pharmacist was charged March 17 on counts of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by paying kickbacks and bribes, and illegally spending fraudulent proceeds, according to the Department of Justice.

Robert John Sabet, PharmD, 44, of Brooklyn, N.Y., is the owner of two New York City-based pharmacies, Brooklyn Chemists and Lucky Care Pharmacy, according to the Justice Department.

Prosecutors alleged he billed Medicare and Medicaid for expensive prescription drugs that were ineligible for reimbursement since September 2016. They also alleged he paid customers kickbacks and bribes so he could bill Medicare and Medicaid for over-the-counter products on their behalf. 

The Justice Department said his allegedly fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements totaled $4 million.

Prosecutors also allege Dr. Sabet took nearly $100,000 from Lucky Care’s bank accounts to buy himself a luxury vehicle in December. At the time of his arrest, law enforcement officials seized a 2020 Porsche Taycan, as well as cash and other luxury goods.

If convicted, Dr. Sabet faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for the healthcare fraud charge, five years for the kickbacks and bribes charge and 10 years for the unlawful spending charge.

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