Pain Management Doctor Arrested in Health Care Fraud Cases
Acting United States Attorney Steve Butler of the Southern District of Alabama and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced today that Dr. Rassan M. Tarabein, 58, a neurologist residing in Fairhope, Alabama, was arrested by law enforcement officials on federal and state criminal charges relating to health care fraud. On June 16, 2017, a state grand jury in Montgomery County, Alabama returned a 2¬–count indictment against Dr. Tarabein, charging him with Medicaid fraud and theft of property in the first degree. On June 28, 2017, a federal grand jury for the Southern District of Alabama returned a 22–count superseding indictment against Dr. Tarabein, charging him with health care fraud, making false statements relating to health care matters, lying to a federal agent, unlawfully distributing schedule II controlled substances, and money laundering. Later today, Dr. Tarabein is scheduled for an initial appearance on the federal charges before United States Magistrate Judge P. Bradley Murray in Mobile, Alabama. Dr. Tarabein operated the Eastern Shore Neurology and Pain Center, a private clinic in Daphne, Alabama where he provided services relating to neurology and pain management, such as spinal injections.
Acting United States Attorney Steve Butler stated, “As alleged, this neurologist operated a fraudulent medical practice that for years stole millions of dollars from health care programs and endangered the safety of his patients. Federal and state investigators have worked diligently to expose the fraud. Now this physician must face the consequences of his actions.”
Attorney General Marshall stated, “I am pleased to partner with our federal law enforcement colleagues to protect precious state Medicaid resources. I hope that this case will serve as a warning to others who might be tempted to steal taxpayer money allocated to protect our most vulnerable citizens.”
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Lasky stated, “Health care fraud cases continue to be a priority for the FBI. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to bring these types of investigations to a swift and justifiable end.”
“It is disappointing when trusted professionals like Dr. Rassan Tarabein are engaged in corrupt practices, to include the diversion of controlled substances,” said Stephen G. Azzam, Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s New Orleans Field Division. “Doctors have an obligation to ensure that prescription medications are getting into the hands of legitimate patients. Thanks to the cooperative success of this investigation with our federal law enforcement partners and state investigators, this crooked doctor will be brought to justice.”
“Dr. Tarabein's alleged activities blatantly abused federal health care programs and treated patients as his personal money machines," said Special Agent in Charge Derrick L. Jackson, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “This arrest should warn providers, who line their pockets at the expense of taxpayers, that they will face severe consequences.”
The facts in an indictment constitute allegations only. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The FBI, DEA, HHS-OIG, and Alabama Medicaid Fraud Division are investigating the federal case. Assistant United States Attorneys Sinan Kalayoglu and Gregory A. Bordenkircher are prosecuting the federal case in coordination with the Office of the Alabama Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Assistant Attorney Generals Bruce M. Lieberman and Jon R. Moody are prosecuting the state case.