PORTLAND, Maine — A South Portland dermatologist pleaded not guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to five counts of tax evasion, 52 counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances and one count of health care fraud.
Dr. Joel A. Sabean, 68, who resides in Falmouth, was released on personal recognizance bail, according to information posted on the court’s electronic case filing system.
His trial was tentatively set for Nov. 30.
The indictment accused Sabean of knowingly and intentionally distributing and dispensing controlled substances outside the usual course of professional medical practice and without legitimate medical purposes more than 50 times between December 2010 and January 2014.
In addition, Sabean allegedly took more than $3 million in fraudulent medical deductions between 2008 and 2012. The indictment also accused the physician of owing more than $893,000 in back income taxes.
The health care fraud charge is related to the prescriptions Sabean allegedly wrote for a relative in Boca Raton, Florida.
Sabean’s attorneys earlier this month called the charges “completely without merit.”
The doctor continues to practice in Maine, according to his attorneys.
If convicted, Sabean faces up to 10 years in prison on the health care fraud charges and up to five years on the other 57 counts. He could be fined up to $250,000 and be ordered to pay restitution and back taxes.