A medical doctor from Falmouth was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges that he took more than $3 million in illegal medical deductions, illegally distributed prescription medications and fraudulently wrote prescriptions for a family member.

Dr. Joel A. Sabean, who has a dermatology practice in South Portland, faces five counts of tax evasion, 52 counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances and one count of heath care fraud.

Sabean, 68, is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Portland before Judge John H. Rich III on Oct. 29 to enter a plea to the charges and for a detention hearing. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has not yet indicated whether it will seek to have Sabean detained.

Sabean’s attorneys issued a statement saying he is not guilty of the charges and did not commit federal tax evasion.

“Rather, he and his wife were the victims of an elaborate fraud perpetrated by a family member with a long and documented history of dishonesty,” defense attorneys Thimi Mina and Jay McCloskey said in a written statement.

Mina and McCloskey added that the fact that Sabean wrote prescriptions for a family member is not a crime.

“The allegations that Dr. Sabean’s prescription of non-narcotic medications for members of his own family was outside the usual course of professional and medical practice or without a legitimate medical purpose is completely without merit,” said Mina and McCloskey.

The indictment alleges that from 2009 to 2013, Sabean took $3,035,667 in fraudulent medical deductions in filing his taxes with the Internal Revenue Service.

It also accuses him of distributing sedatives, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medications without a legitimate purpose between Dec. 15, 2010, and Jan. 4, 2014.

The six-page indictment also accuses him of writing or calling in prescriptions for a family member who filled them at a CVS store in Boca Raton, Florida.

If convicted, Sabean faces up to five years in prison on each of the tax fraud and drug distribution charges and up to 10 years in prison on the health care fraud charge. He also faces fines totaling as much as $13.75 million.

Sabean intends to continue operating his business at 350 Cottage Road in South Portland while the case against him is pending, according to his attorneys.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @scottddolan

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