Who is Philip Esformes? Man convicted in $1B Medicare fraud spent NYE dancing at daughter's wedding after Trump pardon

Esformes was an assisted living and skilled nursing facility owner who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for what was dubbed 'the largest healthcare fraud scheme charged by the US Justice Department'


                            Who is Philip Esformes? Man convicted in $1B Medicare fraud spent NYE dancing at daughter's wedding after Trump pardon
Philip Esformes (Getty Images)
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A businessman from Florida, who was sentenced for orchestrating a $1B Medicare fraud scheme, spent New Year's Eve as a free man and was seen dancing at his daughter's wedding, days after he was released by former president Donald Trump. Philip Esformes, 52, was included in Trump's long list of pardons and commutations granted to more than 200 convicts in the final days of his presidency.

Who is Philip Esformers?

Esformes was an assisted living and skilled nursing facility owner who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in a case that the federal government valued at $1B and described as “the largest healthcare fraud scheme charged by the U.S. Justice Department”. He had his sentence commuted by Trump in December 2020.

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“While in prison, Mr. Esformes, has been devoted to prayer and repentance and is in declining health,” the White House said in the announcement. The compensation for Esformes leaves intact other aspects of his sentence, including supervised release and restitution. He previously had been ordered to pay $44M to the Medicare program. He had been appealing the sentence since September 2019 after he had been found guilty in April 2019 of more than 20 charges of money laundering, paying and receiving kickbacks, bribery and obstruction of justice.

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As McKnight’s Senior Living previously reported, the federal government in part alleged in 2016 that Esformes would move skilled nursing residents to his assisted living facilities when they were at or near the end of Medicare’s 100-day post-hospital benefit period for skilled nursing. “After the required 60-day waiting period between consecutive admissions to an [sic] SNF, a physician or physician assistant would readmit the beneficiary to the hospital, re-initiating the cycle,” according to a federal motion.

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Esformes had a total of 26 charges, including conspiracy, obstruction, money laundering and healthcare fraud, in connection with the scheme. The jury, however, did not reach a verdict on the main count, that Esformes had conspired to defraud the Medicare program.

The White House stated that the commutation was supported by former Attorneys General Edwin Meese and Michael Mukasey, as well as former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson. “In addition, former Attorneys General Edwin Meese, John Ashcroft, and Alberto Gonzalez, as well as other notable legal figures such as Ken Starr, have filed in support of his appeal challenging his conviction on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct related to violating attorney-client privilege,” the statement said.

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Journalist Kenneth P Vogel shared a video on January 22, 2021, and wrote: "NEW: Healthcare prosecutors were aghast when TRUMP granted clemency to Medicare fraudster PHILIP ESFORMES, explaining he was in "declining health.” A week later, ESFORMES went for a shirtless run with his son, & danced at his daughter's black-tie wedding."


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On January 1, 2021, one person shared a tweet that read, "This motherfucker, Philip Esformes, stole $1.5BB from @MedicareGov, couldn’t be bothered to mow his lawn for the 4 yrs he spent in prison but, days after a @realDonaldTrump pardon, found the wherewithal to host a grand wedding for his daughter in his backyard tonight! #CrimePays.

"'Wishing you a happy & healthy 2021! We apologize in advance for any noise from the celebration of our marriage. Xoxo, Drew and Serena," the couple said in a note along with a champagne gift basket.

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