In a startling turn of events, the executive of a health care company in Florida has been charged with extensive accusations of criminal fraud. These allegations range from trying to get a college basketball coach to let one of his sons on the team through bribery, to attempting to forge paperwork to fleece close to $1 billion from Medicare and Medicaid. The dishonest activity supposedly took place between 2006 and 2016, and much of this was conducted via false billing. This is what has been released to media, and the full extent of the fraud may possibly go even deeper than what the public is aware of.
Philip Esformes, who pleaded not guilty to the charges levied against him, has been in jail since his arrest in 2016. Before the time of his arrest, Esformes was operating a network of assisted living facilities and nursing homes amounting to 30 separate locations. In addition to false billing, Esformes is also accused of steering patients away from Medicare in exchange for kickbacks. He is also accused of referring Medicare patients who do not qualify to his and his conspirators’ facilities. The trial is expected to take place over an 8-week period.
The dirty details
Despite Esformes plea of not guilty, two other people alleged to be involved in the case may testify against him. This physician’s assistant and hospital administrator have both pleaded guilty to the accusations of playing a role in the conspiracy-a move which may complicate matters for Esformes. Another accusation is that Esformes paid off a Florida health regulator in order to know when to expect surprise visits from inspectors due to patient complaints. These bribes may have totaled as much as $100,000. Jerome Allen, who was formerly the basketball coach of the University of Pennsylvania’s team, has come forward and stated that he accepted bribes totaling $18,000 in order to allow Esforme’s son into the basketball team at that school. Allen may be facing up to 10 years in prison for this stunt.
Despite the many people who have come forward to substantiate claims against Esformes, the matter will; not be fully resolved until the trial is complete. Until then, Esformes’ attorney remains adamant that the man is being falsely accused, and has even questioned the motivations of the witnesses.
Anyone in Florida who has been accused of fraud or a similar type of charge, or who is concerned that such activity may be happening among his or her associates may wish to seek advice by consulting an attorney in the local area who practices white collar criminal law.