Ga. man defrauds Medicare out of $70M by selling braces and medicine to fake patients

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — A Sandy Springs man is heading to federal prison after being found guilty of defrauding Medicare and Tricare out of nearly $75 million by submitting fake claims for compound medication and durable medical equipment.

Federal prosecutors say 34-year-old Brett Sabado ran NHS, a pharmaceutical company that caused compounding pharmacies to submit false prescriptions to Tricare for pain creams, scar creams and multi-vitamins.

They say Sabado and his co-conspirators were getting illegal kickbacks from those referrals.

Ultimately, Sabado caused Tricare to lose $4.5 million.

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At the same time, Sabado was also submitting fake claims for medically unnecessary arm, leg, back, wrist and neck braces to Medicare.

Prosecutors say he was packaging and shipping out thousands of false orders to Medicare beneficiaries. They claim he knew that those orders were supported by fake prescriptions written by doctors who had never seen the patients.

Sabado reportedly received between five and 15 dollars for each medically unnecessary brace he shipped out, as well as a percentage of the Medicare reimbursement. Overall, he caused Medicare to lose $70 million.

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Prosecutors say Sabado also submitted false claims to the New Jersey State Health Benefits and private health care benefits programs in other states.

After being found guilty earlier this week, a federal judge sentenced him to five years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He also agreed to pay $950,000 as part of an “ability to pay” civil settlement.

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