Miami-based Orthodox Jew Philip Esformes has been convicted of America’s largest ever health care fraud which saw him steal more than $1.3 billion from American taxpayers, has been described as a “parasite” by investigators from the US Department of Justice.
According to a statement released by the US Department of Justice, a federal jury found Esformes guilty “for his role in the largest health care fraud scheme ever charged by the Justice Department, involving over $1.3 billion in fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid for services that were not provided, were not medically necessary or were procured through the payment of kickbacks.”
After an eight-week trial, Esformes was convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, two counts of receipt of kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program, four counts of payment of kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, nine counts of money laundering, two counts of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery, and one count of obstruction of justice before U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. of the Southern District of Florida. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
“Philip Esformes orchestrated one of the largest health care fraud schemes in U.S. history, defrauding Medicare and Medicaid to the tune of over a billion dollars,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
“I commend our dedicated prosecutors and law enforcement partners for their professionalism and unyielding pursuit of justice on behalf of American taxpayers and vulnerable beneficiaries who, as a result of Esformes’s crimes, were denied the level of care that they needed and deserved.”
“Philip Esformes’ criminal scheme defrauded America’s health care system out of millions of dollars, that would have otherwise provided quality care to patients in need,” said U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan of the Southern District of Florida.
“I commend the Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Southern District of Florida, who worked tirelessly alongside their partners at the Department’s Criminal Division, the FBI and HHS-OIG to bring this case to justice. This massive fraud scheme, perpetuated in nursing and assisted living facilities in our South Florida communities, compromised the integrity of our local health care system. We remain united in our commitment to root out health care fraud and support quality patient care.”
“Philip Esformes is a man driven by almost unbounded greed,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Denise M. Stemen of FBI Miami.
“The illicit road Esformes took to satisfy his greediness led to over $800 million in fraudulent health care claims, the largest amount ever charged by the Department of Justice.
“Along that road, Esformes cycled patients through his facilities in poor condition where they received inadequate or unnecessary treatment, then improperly billed Medicare and Medicaid.