Healthcare execs, physicians pardoned by Trump

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Healthcare executives convicted of fraud were among the 143 people who received pardons or sentence commutations from former President Donald Trump on Jan. 20, his last day in office. 

At least 10 of the 143 on the list, made public early Jan. 20, were convicted of defrauding healthcare programs or other crimes involving the healthcare industry. 

Faustino Bernadett, MD, the former owner of Long Beach, Calif.-based Pacific Hospital, was sentenced last year to 15 months in prison for his role in a kickback scheme that led to more than $900 million in fraudulent bills being submitted. He received a full pardon. 

Todd Farha, Thaddeus Bereday, William Kale, Paul Behrens and Peter Clay are former executives of Tampa, Fla.-based WellCare Health Plans. They were convicted in 2013 in a case involving Medicaid fraud, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal. They were granted full pardons. 

Frederick Nahas, MD, became aware of a federal investigation into his billing practices in the 1990s. The six-year investigation didn't uncover any billing fraud, but he didn't fully cooperate and ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing justice in a healthcare investigation. He spent one month in prison in 2003, according to NBC News. He received a full pardon. 

John Duncan Fordham, a pharmacist, was convicted of healthcare fraud in 2005 and sentenced to more than four years in prison. He was released in 2009, according to The Augusta Chronicle. He was granted a full pardon. 

Ed Henry, a former Alabama state lawmaker, pleaded guilty in 2019 to a charge stemming from a Medicare fraud case, according to AL.com. He was granted a full pardon. 

Salomon Melgen, MD, a Florida ophthalmologist, was sentenced to 17 years in prison in 2018 for defrauding Medicare of at least $73 million. President Trump commuted Dr. Melgen's prison sentence.  

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