Florida businessman faces sentencing in $1B Medicare fraud

Posted at 7:13 AM, September 12, 2019 and last updated 8:42 PM, May 12, 2023

(FILE PHOTO – Chris Ryan via Getty Images)

MIAMI (AP) — A Florida health care executive is facing sentencing following his conviction on 20 criminal charges in what prosecutors described as a $1 billion Medicare fraud scheme.

A Miami federal judge Thursday is set to sentence 50-year-old Philip Esformes in one of the biggest such cases in U.S. history. Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year prison term, while Esformes’ lawyers as asking for a lenient sentence.

The wealthy Miami Beach businessman operated a network of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in South Florida that jurors found used kickbacks and bribes to gain business.

A former Ivy League basketball coach testified Esformes bribed him to get his son into school. Esformes was also convicted of charges of obstruction of justice, for plotting to help one of his co-conspirators flee to another country.