Jacksonville, Alabama Woman Sentenced to More Than 4 Years for Fraud Scheme and Aggravated Identity Theft
MOBILE, AL – A former Baldwin County pain doctor was sentenced today to four years in federal prison for bank fraud, making false statements to federal agents, willfully refusing to pay court ordered restitution, and aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Rassan M. Tarabein, 63, a former neurologist and pain doctor in Baldwin County, pleaded guilty in 2017 to healthcare fraud and unlawful distribution of controlled substances. A federal judge in the Southern District of Alabama ordered Tarabein to pay more than $15 million in restitution to his victims. In early 2018, while awaiting sentencing in his federal case, Tarabein issued cashier’s checks worth more than $100,000 to himself without the court’s approval. Tarabein falsely represented to his probation officer that the checks were for payment of bills. Tarabein was sentenced to five years in federal prison in June 2018, but was released early to home confinement in November 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While on home confinement in Fairhope in 2020, and unbeknownst to the court, Tarabein reissued the 2018 cashier’s checks to himself. From 2020 to 2022, Tarabein made no payments toward his restitution obligation. Instead, the jury reviewed evidence that Tarabein had access to and spent large sums of money on himself. In December 2021, Tarabein fraudulently deposited money into his bank account using information from another account that he had agreed to forfeit and that had been closed years earlier as part of his healthcare fraud and drug convictions in 2017. Further, in early 2022, Tarabein made false statements to his probation officer in his financial disclosures while continuing to conceal assets.
In April 2022, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Tarabein at the Pensacola International Airport while he was en route to the Middle East. Agents found Tarabein in possession of, among other things, a $31,000 counterfeit check dated March 2022 from a victim business in Georgia made payable to Tarabein at his address in Fairhope. The counterfeit check bore the name and signature of a representative of the victim business, which had previously lost tens of thousands of dollars from a successful deposit of a nearly identical fraudulent check months earlier.
At today’s sentencing hearing, in addition to the four-year prison term, Chief United States District Judge Jeffrey U. Beaverstock ordered Tarabein to serve a five-year term of supervised release upon his release from prison, during which time he will be subject to credit restrictions and will be required to provide financial information to the probation office. The court did not impose a fine, but Chief Judge Beaverstock ordered Tarabein to pay $425 in special assessments. Tarabein still owes more than $9 million in victim restitution.
U.S. Attorney Sean P. Costello said, “Defendants who lie to the court and who conceal assets rather than paying the victims of their crime what they are owed will be pursued by the Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners. Criminals like Tarabein will not be allowed to escape the consequences of their conduct.”
“It is apparent by the court record Dr. Tarabein had a willful disregard for the rule of law and the very conditions he was supposed to adhere to. I am proud of the diligent work of the FBI and United States Attorney’s Office personnel to hold Dr. Tarabein accountable for his actions and instill justice for the victims of his crimes,” said Paul W. Brown, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Mobile Field Office.
The FBI investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Roller of the Southern District of Alabama and Trial Attorneys Sinan Kalayoglu and Lindsay Heck of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, Criminal Division, prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.