Miami-Dade Nursing Home Owner Convicted in Largest U.S. Healthcare Fraud Scheme
Just last week, a 12-person jury deliberated for four days before finding Philip Esformes, a 50-year-old entrepreneur and owner of a network of 16 nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Florida, guilty on 20 out of 26 charges related to healthcare fraud. This is believed to be the largest fraud scheme ever charged by the U.S. Justice Department and a reflection of the business owner’s greed through receiving kickbacks, money laundering and conspiracy to commit federal program bribery totaling $37 million. In an April 5th, 2019 public statement, prosecutors called him a “despicable,” “vampire” who was fueled by “unbounded greed.”
“Esformes exploited and victimized patients by providing inadequate medical care and poor conditions in his nursing homes. We will continue the fight against such parasites.”
-Shimon Richmond, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s Miami Regional Office
Esformes Used Funds to Bribe Others and Purchase Luxury Items
According to the Department of Justice, Esformes led an “extensive” healthcare fraud conspiracy through his network of poorly kept, for profit Miami-Dade nursing homes by bribing doctors to admit patients, making families believe loved ones should reside and bill Medicare and Medicaid for unnecessary services, or in some cases, no care at all. He also bribed an employee of a Florida state regulator to give him advance notice of facility inspections. All the while, Esformes was collecting on over $1.3 billion in fraudulent claims to purchase luxury items for himself including automobiles, a $360,000 watch, and allegedly using the money to bribe the basketball coach at the University of Pennsylvania for help getting his son admitted to the Ivy League university. Two others have pled guilty as co-conspirators to the fraudulent acts and identified as physician’s assistant Arnaldo Carmouze and former hospital administrator Odette Barcha.
To review the full report by the Department of Justice, click here.
Fraud Robs Nursing Home Patients from Their Rights
Healthcare fraud is entirely unacceptable in all its forms. It demeans patients, unjustly enriches the perpetrators, and damages care for all taxpayers who see funding drained unnecessarily. For the last decade though, Attorneys General have been partnering with private law firms to sue large nursing home chains for negligent care related to Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Anyone involved with nursing homes should be aware of these fraudulent acts, their implications for patients and residents, and the importance of protecting patients from the greedy and overzealous actions of administrators, doctors, hospitals, and large nursing homes chains.
Contact Levin & Perconti if Concerned about Healthcare Fraud in Illinois
If you believe that your family may be affected by healthcare fraud in any form in the State of Illinois, you should take action quickly and contact our lawyers online or call us at 877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872 to set up a FREE consultation.