WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — Dubbed the King of Medicaid, Philip Esformes – who had ties to Chicago – was a free man on Wednesday.
He was released Tuesday after President Donald Trump commuted part of his sentence.
The former Florida health care executive was convicted on 20 criminal counts in what prosecutors described as a $1 billion Medicare fraud scheme, one of the biggest such cases in U.S. history.
The wealthy Miami Beach businessman operated a network of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in South Florida and was found guilty of paying kickbacks and bribes to doctors and administrators so they would refer patients to his businesses.
Esformes’ prison sentence was commuted by the president on Tuesday, but other aspects of his sentence, including supervised release and millions in restitution, remained intact.
The White House said the commutation was supported by a number of former attorneys general and said Esformes is in declining health.
Esformes was a part-time Chicago resident. The Chicago Tribune reported that he and his father and business partner had controlled more than two dozen health care facilities stretching from Chicago all the way to Miami.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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