An excellent example of government corruption just popped up in Miami, and in a billion dollar way.
According to the Miami Herald, Philip Esformes ran one of the largest chains of healthcare centers in the Miami-Dade area, with some 30 locations. Reports say that Esformes is alleged to have defrauded medicaire by continuously performing completely unnecessary procedures.
Philip Esformes, 47, charged with two other defendants, is accused of exploiting his network of about 20 Miami-Dade skilled-nursing and assisted-living facilities to fleece the taxpayer-funded Medicare by filing false claims for services that were not necessary or in some instances not provided over the past 14 years.
According to the Justice Department, Esformes is also guilty of pocketing kickbacks that would bring the beneficiaries to other healthcare providers.
While Esformes billed for $1 billion dollars for performing all these “services,” Medicare has only paid out $500 Million since 2009.
“This is the largest single criminal healthcare fraud case ever brought against individuals by the Department of Justice,” the criminal division’s assistant attorney general, Leslie R. Caldwell, said Friday during a news conference at the U.S. attorney’s office in Miami.
“The magnitude of alleged false claims in this scheme is staggering and outrageous, even by South Florida healthcare fraud standards,” said U.S. attorney Wifredo Ferrer. “This case illustrates once again that Medicare fraud has infected every aspect of the healthcare system.”
Esformes is said to have personally made $78 million off the years long scam, including $10.4 million in 2012 alone.
Due to the enormity of the charges and crimes, Esformes is actually facing life in prison, and therefor have requested that he be held until the trial, which will happen on August 1st. According to authorities, Esformes has already demonstrated that he would attempt to run.
Esformes’s defense attorney’s believe they smell a rat.
On Friday, Esformes’ defense attorneys, Marissel Descalzo and Michael Pasano, issued a statement declaring he committed no wrongdoing.
“Mr. Esformes is a respected and well-regarded businessman. He is devoted to his family and his religion,” the statement said. “The government allegations appear to come from people who were caught breaking the law and are now hoping to gain reduced sentences. Mr Esformes adamantly denies these allegations and will fight hard to clear his name.”