No Bail For Alleged Leader In $1B Florida Health Care Fraud

Aug 8, 2016
Originally published on August 7, 2016 11:45 am

A businessman accused of orchestrating a $1 billion Medicare and Medicaid fraud scheme in South Florida will be staying in jail until his trial.

Court records show a Miami federal judge on Friday denied bail for 47-year-old Philip Esformes, finding he was a flight risk and might obstruct the ongoing investigation. Esformes faces a potential life prison sentence if convicted of multiple fraud, conspiracy and other charges.

Authorities say Esformes ran 30 nursing homes and assisted living facilities that used a network of corrupt doctors and hospitals to refer thousands of patients to the facilities even though they did not qualify for services. Esformes and others also allegedly got kickbacks for steering patients to other health centers.

The Justice Department says it's the largest health fraud case in U.S. history.