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Two brothers who owned a West Los Angeles pharmacy and were convicted of illegally selling prescription opioids and other narcotics to black market customers across the United States were sentenced late Wednesday, with each man being ordered to serve 121 months in federal prison.

Berry Kabov, 48, and his brother Dalibor “Dabo” Kabov, 35, both residents of Brentwood, were sentenced by United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee. The Kabov brothers operated Global Compounding Pharmacy, a pharmacy that was located in West Los Angeles.

Following a three-week jury trial in early 2017, the brothers were convicted of illegally selling the opioid narcotics oxycodone, hydromorphone and hydrocodone. The wide-ranging conspiracy, which also illegally imported anabolic steroids, resulted in the Kabov brothers earning more than $3 million and cheating the Internal Revenue Service by failing to report $1.5 million on their federal tax returns.

Prosecutors argued in court documents that the Kabovs orchestrated a “years-long scheme to exploit the nation’s epidemic-level addiction to powerful prescription opioids,” and that the brothers “rose from mail-order drug dealers – sending drug parcels to Ohio for cash – to owners of a Los Angeles pharmacy that sold millions of dollars of oxycodone, hydromorphone, and hydrocodone on the black market.”

The Kabov brothers used Global Compounding to sell bulk quantities of oxycodone to customers across the country. During the investigation, authorities seized shipments containing thousands of oxycodone pills sent by the Kabov brothers to customers in and around Columbus, Ohio. These customers in turn made cash deposits into Kabov-controlled bank accounts or simply shipped bulk cash to the brothers in Southern California.

The evidence also included recorded calls between Berry Kabov and a cooperating informant, during which Berry Kabov described oxycodone pills as “gold” selling for as much as “50 bucks a pill” in areas like New York. Berry Kabov offered to ship as many as 4,000 oxycodone pills per week to the informant, bragging that “we have a thing that we can move easy.”

After drug wholesalers cut off Global Compounding, the Kabovs began manufacturing their own opioid pills after obtaining a $20,000 pill press from China and acquiring enough bulk powder to make 100,000 maximum-strength pills. “In total, from the wholesale orders and on-site manufacturing, the Kabovs disseminated over 300,000 pills of opiates to the black market during the conspiracy, which accounts only for what they sold after opening Global Compounding,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing brief.

To conceal the black market drug sales that brought them approximately $3 million, the Kabovs conspired with a doctor to create fraudulent prescriptions in the names of identity theft victims. The Kabovs also reported false information to California authorities making it appear that drugs had been dispensed to those identity theft victims. Prosecutors said in court documents that planting that fraudulent information “ma[de] the victims falsely appear to be narcotic addicts,” thus putting them at risk of being denied necessary treatment from a legitimate physician checking their prescription histories. Global Compounding also failed to report sales of 98,000 pills of opiates to California authorities who track prescription drug sales.

As part of the scheme, the brothers also used the names of other identity theft victims – members of a longshoremen labor union’s health insurance plan – to submit fraudulent claims that generated another $2.6 million from the plan, prosecutors said in court papers. In October 2017, the owner of a Long Beach “medi-spa” involved in the fraud scheme, Erica Carey, pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge and admitted conspiring with the Kabovs in exchange for more than $300,000 in kickbacks.

The investigation into the Kabov brothers and Global Compounding was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the California Board of Pharmacy.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Benjamin R. Barron of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, and Assistant United States Attorney Matthew O’Brien of the Environmental and Community Safety Crimes Section.