Greensburg Physician Charged with Illegally Distributing Suboxone, Health Care Fraud
PITTSBURGH – A Greensburg physician has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of distribution of buprenorphine, a Schedule III controlled substance, outside the usual course of professional practice; using and maintaining a drug-involved premises; health care fraud; and money laundering, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
The 25-count indictment, returned yesterday, named Nabil Jabbour, 67, a physician who practices in Greensburg and Connellsville, Pennsylvania, as the sole defendant.
According to the indictment, between July 27, 2016, and December 13, 2016, Jabbour distributed buprenorphine—also known as Suboxone, Subutex, or Zubsolv—on a total of 17 occasions, outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. The indictment further alleges that between January 2014, and December 2016, Jabbour operated the two locations of his medical practice as drug-involved premises. Jabbour is also charged with defrauding Medicare and Medicaid through his illegal dispensing practices, which resulted in the health care programs covering costs associated with fraudulent buprenorphine prescriptions. Finally, the indictment charges Jabbour with money laundering based on cash transactions in excess of $10,000 that he initiated at the Meadows Casino in Washington, Pennsylvania, on five occasions between July 26, 2015, and July 25, 2016.
Jabbour faces a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $500,000 for each distribution count; a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $500,000 for each drug-involved premises charge; a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 for the health care fraud charge, and a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 for each money laundering charge. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The investigation leading to the filing of charges in this case was conducted by the Western Pennsylvania Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit, which combines personnel and resources from the following agencies to combat the growing prescription opioid epidemic: Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, United States Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Attorney’s Office – Criminal Division, Civil Division and Asset Forfeiture Unit, Department of Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector General, Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Licensing. The Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General – Narcotics Unit, the Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office and the Greensburg Police Department also provided assistance.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.