July 7, 2017

Fraudster of the Week — Alabama Pain Doctor Rassan M. Tarabein

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Last week, federal authorities announced that Dr. Rassan M. Tarabein, a neurologist who operates the Eastern Shore Neurology and Pain Center in Daphne, Alabama, had been arrested on myriad federal and state charges relating to health care fraud.  A federal grand jury recently returned a 22-count superseding indictment against 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.  In announcing Tarabein’s arrest, acting United States Attorney Steve Butler stated that the doctor allegedly “stole millions of dollars from public health care programs and private insurance companies.”

According to the federal indictment, Tarabein operated his clinic as a “money mill” for more than a decade, inducing patients to obtain unnecessary tests and procedures and then billing government health care programs for those services.  The indictment further alleges that Tarabein routinely violated traditional standards of care by, among other things, failing to obtain informed consent from patients for procedures, fraudulently documenting patient records, and discriminating against Alabama Medicaid recipients.

Tarabein, a national of both Syria and the United States, was arrested en route to Lebanon and prosecutors believe he poses a serious flight risk.  In a 225-page motion, the government listed a slew of reasons why Tarabein should be held in custody until his arraignment next week—foremost among them that he recently transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars to an ex-wife in Morocco.  The motion also reveals that Tarabein has engaged in a slew of unsavory conduct over the years, from pressuring employees to testify falsely against another ex-wife to bribing an Alabama State Trooper with pain medication in exchange for various favors.

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