Florida healthcare exec convicted in $1.3B fraud case

Philip Esformes, who operated a network of more than 30 skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Florida, was found guilty April 5 of 20 charges, including paying and receiving kickbacks, money laundering and bribery, according to the Department of Justice.

Mr. Esformes was convicted after an eight-week trial for his role in a $1.3 billion Medicare and Medicaid fraud case, which was one of the largest healthcare fraud schemes ever charged by the Justice Department.

According to evidence presented at trial, Mr. Esformes bribed physicians to admit patients into his facilities. Once admitted, some patients received medically unnecessary care that was billed to Medicare and Medicaid, according to prosecutors.

Mr. Esformes was one of three defendants charged in an indictment unsealed in July 2016 for their alleged involvement in the fraud scheme that began in January 1998. He allegedly received more than $37 million from the scam.

Mr. Esformes' lawyers said they plan to file an appeal in the case, according to The Hill.

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