Posted on: April 30, 2021, 11:57h.
Last updated on: April 30, 2021, 03:26h.
A casino in Pennsylvania says a doctor convicted of illegal drug distribution, health care fraud, and money laundering owes more than $69,000 in gambling debts.
Psychiatrist Nabil Jabbour, 70, pleaded guilty in October of 2019 to three counts of distribution of buprenorphine, a Schedule III controlled substance, outside the usual course of professional practice, and one count each of health care fraud and money laundering. Last December, he was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison.
Jabbour admitted to using the Meadows Casino Racetrack Hotel in Washington, Pa., to launder ill-gotten cash he received for unlawfully distributing buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is used to treat opioid addictions, and also as a pain reliever. The drug, however, comes with a high risk of dependency on its own.
The Meadows says it simply considered Jabbour as a high roller and offered him a $48,000 line of credit in March of 2014. The Meadows, operated by Penn National Gaming and owned by the company’s real estate investment trust Gaming and Leisure Properties, contends in litigation that after opening the credit line, Jabbour closed his personal bank account linked to the casino marker.
Casino Interest Piling Up
The Meadows Casino argues that Jabbour was to make minimum monthly payments of $1,000 after establishing his $48,000 credit line. He failed to do so soon after opening the account.
The casino claims it told Jabbour in September of 2016 that he was still permitted to gamble at the Meadows, but any winnings would be used to pay down his escalating debt.
The Meadows lawsuit says it applied an 18 percent monthly interest rate on the disgraced doctor’s credit line in November of 2019. The interest stands at $21,344, meaning Jabbour is on the hook for $69,344.
During his sentencing in December, Jabbour was ordered to pay a $75,000 fine and $40,0000 in restitution to Medicare and the Pennsylvania Medicaid Program. Jabbour only took cash from his clients, but still billed Medicare and Medicaid for the fraudulent prescriptions.
Jabbour charged $100 for an initial consultation and $80 per visit thereafter. His illegal drug scheme was uncovered through an undercover sting conducted by the Western Pennsylvania Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit. Undercover law enforcement officials made three trips to Jabbour’s office in 2016. They successfully obtained buprenorphine despite not displaying any relevant symptoms that the drug is prescribed to treat.
Casino Credit Lines
Casino credit is quite different than credit extended by a bank or credit card company. The main advantage to establishing a credit line inside a casino is that a player does not have to bring in cash to gamble, and casino credit lines are typically issued free of interest.
When gamblers run up large debts on the credit lines, the casino will request to be paid within a certain time frame, which can range anywhere from a week to 90 days. If the patron fails to do so, the casino can reach out to the individual’s bank and submit the marker for payment.