BACKGROUND: “Nursing Home Baron Rabbi Morris Esformes: “Beside the fact that they’re anti-mental health and anti-black, they’re probably anti-Jew because I’m an ordained rabbi””
NEWS: The largest ever criminal health care fraud case surfaced last week when Justice Department officials charged three people with actively utilizing a vast network of doctors, hospitals and health-care providers across South Florida to fraudulently bill more than $1 billion to Medicare and Medicaid.
As the shocking narrative continued to dominate the headlines last weekend, the story placed a proverbial spotlight on the ever increasing phenomenon of those who conspire to bilk government coffers for their own personal enrichment.
The indictment alleged that Philip Esformes, 47, the owner of more than 30 Miami-area skilled-nursing and assisted-living facilities, was the brainchild of the shady project. Along with two co-defendants and other assorted conspirators, Esformes allegedly paid and received bribes and kickbacks to get thousands of patients admitted to facilities that he operated, according to a WSJ report.
Court documents also related horrifying examples of patients who were intentionally used as medical guinea pigs for the sole purpose of billing medically unnecessary procedures to Medicare and Medicaid. Many of the treatments administered to patients were deemed harmful to their health.
Marissel Descalzo and Michael Pasano of Carlton Fields who are attorneys representing Esformes said their client “adamantly denies these allegations and will fight hard to clear his name.” They added that “Mr. Esformes is a respected and well-regarded businessman. He is devoted to his family and his religion The government allegations appear to come from people who were caught breaking the law and are now hoping to gain reduced sentences.”