A Florida health care executive was convicted on Friday in what the Department of Justice has described as the “largest health care fraud scheme ever charged.” Philip Esformes was convicted of 20 criminal counts in a $1 billion Medicare fraud scheme. From approximately January 1998 through July 2016, Esformes operated a network of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in South Florida. Jurors found him guilty of paying kickbacks and bribes to doctors and administrators so they would refer patients to his businesses. Esformes was also convicted of plotting to help one of his co-conspirators flee to another country. In addition to the fraud charges, a former Ivy League basketball coach testified that the executive bribed him to get his son into school.
“Philip Esformes is a man driven by almost unbounded greed,” Assistant Special Agent in Charge Denise M. Stemen of FBI Miami said. “... Esformes cycled patients through his facilities in poor condition where they received inadequate or unnecessary treatment, then improperly billed Medicare and Medicaid.” Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.