Dr. Joel Sabean, a South Portland dermatologist convicted last month on charges including tax evasion and writing unlawful prescriptions, has been put on probation by the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine.

The board said that the probation is only to allow Sabean time to close his practice and transfer his patients to other doctors. Sabean is not allowed to accept new patients or prescribe or dispense controlled substances and will surrender his medical license when he is sentenced on March 21, 2017, the board said.

Sabean, a prominent dermatologist, was convicted on five counts of tax evasion, 52 counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances and one count of health care fraud after a sensational trial in U.S. District Court in Portland last month. Prosecutors said he sent millions of dollars to a family member in Florida with whom he had maintained a sexual relationship for decades.

Prosecutors said the money was to keep the woman quiet about the relationship and to convince her to continue sending him explicit emails and photographs.

Sabean’s lawyers said the woman duped Sabean into believing she had dozens of medical ailments and treatments, including kidney and heart transplants when, in fact, she was healthy and used the money to gamble and buy drugs.

Sabean deducted the money he sent to the woman from his income taxes, saying they were medical expenses. He also wrote the woman dozens of prescriptions even though she wasn’t a patient. The health care fraud charge was for Sabean writing a prescription for his wife, who was on Sabean’s health insurance, that was instead intended for use by the woman, who wasn’t covered on his policy.

After deliberating for more than four days, a jury convicted Sabean on all the counts.

The board also announced Wednesday that it has censured and fined a York doctor for prescribing the wrong dosage of a medication.

The board said that a pharmacist discovered and corrected the first erroneous dosage by Dr. Patrick Tangney, but the second time the prescription went through and the patient received the wrong dose. The board did not say what medicine was prescribed.

Tangney was fined $1,500 for unprofessional conduct and must also submit within 60 days an analysis of how the wrong dosage was prescribed and a remedial plan for avoiding such errors in the future.


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