Miami Beach businessman faces sentencing in $1 billion Medicare fraud

(Rob Latour/Invision/AP, File)

In this Aug. 7, 2015 file photo, Philip Esformes arrives at the 15th Annual Harold and Carole Pump Foundation Gala held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, in Los Angeles.

MIAMI - A Florida health care executive is facing sentencing following his conviction on 20 criminal charges in what prosecutors described as a $1 billion Medicare fraud scheme.

A Miami federal judge Thursday is set to sentence 50-year-old Philip Esformes in one of the biggest Medicare fraud cases in U.S. history. Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year prison term, while Esformes’ lawyers as asking for a lenient sentence.

The wealthy Miami Beach businessman operated a network of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in South Florida that jurors found used kickbacks and bribes to gain business.

A former Ivy League basketball coach testified Esformes bribed him to get his son into school. Esformes was also convicted of charges of obstruction of justice for plotting to help one of his co-conspirators flee to another country.

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