Owner of pharmacies in Brooklyn and Queens pleads guilty in health care fraud and kickback scheme


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Date: April 28, 2022

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Brooklyn, NY — Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Robert John Sabet, the owner of Brooklyn Chemists in Gravesend, Brooklyn, and Lucky Care Pharmacy in Flushing, Queens, pleaded guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and unlawfully spending the proceeds of his $6.8 million fraud. When sentenced, Sabet faces up to 10 years in prison.

Kenneth A. Polite, Jr., Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department's Criminal Division; Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Thomas Fattorusso, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, New York (IRS-CI); Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, New York Regional Office (HHS-OIG); and Frank T. Walsh, Jr., Acting Medicaid Inspector General, New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG), announced the guilty plea.

According to court documents, Sabet conspired to bill Medicare and Medicaid for expensive prescription drugs that were not eligible for reimbursement because they were not needed or not dispensed, and because they were dispensed in connection with kickbacks. As part of the conspiracy, Sabet and others paid kickbacks and bribes to customers to convince them to fill prescriptions at his pharmacies, and paid customers cash in exchange for the ability to bill Medicare and Medicaid for over-the-counter health care-related products on their behalf. Sabet used proceeds of the scheme to purchase luxury goods and a 2020 Porsche Taycan worth over $250,000.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Miriam L. Glaser Dauermann of the Justice Department's Fraud Section. Assistant United States Attorney Brendan King of the Eastern District of New York's Asset Recovery Section, is handling forfeiture matters. 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.