Former Penn parent and convicted health care mogul Philip Esformes was ordered to pay more than $44 million to Medicare and to the United States government, a federal judge ruled Nov. 21.
Esformes was sentenced to 20 years in prison this September for a $1 billion Medicare fraud scheme that included bribery, kickbacks, and money laundering. On Nov. 21, U.S. District Judge Robert Scola ruled that Esformes must pay $5 million to the Medicare system to reimburse the loss, $39 million to the U.S. government as punishment for his crime, and $617,000 to the U.S. government to cover the costs of his incarceration, the Miami Herald reported.
Esformes was previously found guilty for giving former Penn men’s basketball star and coach Jerome Allen more than $300,000 as bribes so that his son, a 2019 Wharton graduate, would gain admission to Penn as a basketball recruit. Allen testified in Miami federal court that he had received $300,000 from Esformes to recruit his son. Prosecutors found that the money involved in the bribes came directly from the Medicare fraud case, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Esformes's Medicare fraud trial also revealed that he sent more than $400,000 to the charity of William "Rick" Singer, the college consultant at the center of the national college admissions scandal.
Justice Department prosecutors proposed Esformes be required to reimburse $207 million to Medicare given his $78.9 million net worth at the time of his arrest in 2016, the Chicago Tribune reported. Scola opted for a lesser payment to Medicare based on evidence from Esformes's trial, but he agreed with the significant federal payment proposed by prosecutors, the Miami Herald reported.
“I gave him a lesser number of years in prison in anticipation of a significant financial penalty,” Scola said in Miami federal court, the Miami Herald reported.
Esformes operated 24 health care facilities reaching from Chicago to Miami which bribed medical professionals to refer patients to his Florida facilities, the Chicago Tribune reported. In many of the facilities, elderly patients were placed alongside young adults suffering from mental illness and drug addiction.
"An elderly patient was attacked and beaten to death by a younger mental health patient who never should have been at [a nursing facility] in the first place,” prosecutors wrote in a pre-sentencing memo, the Chicago Tribune reported.
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