Florida: Esformes Found Guilty in $1 Billion Medicare Fraud Scheme

Philip Esformes
Esformes in better days!

One of the largest cases in US history say government prosecutors.

And, he was also one of the parents who bought their kid a slot into a good college!

This is an update of my previous post on the once powerful Philip Esformes.

Here is one of many stories on the internet about the jury’s decision.

Continue reading “Florida: Esformes Found Guilty in $1 Billion Medicare Fraud Scheme”

Florida Heart Doc Defrauded Taxpayers to the Tune of $2.2 Million

medicare-scamAnd, the same newspaper that reported the news from Davenport, Florida had praised him to the heavens just a couple years before in a glowing article about how much the first generation Pakistani doctor was giving back to the community.

Editor: I haven’t written a Medicare fraud story for two weeks, not since this story about the Colorado fugitive Pharmacist! But, I’m glad to focus on one this morning.  Maybe I like these stories because I’m a senior and see around me friends and acquaintances getting all sorts of tests and procedures that strike me as unnecessary and possibly harmful.

I’m also writing it because I like the fact that a 75-year-old patient tipped-off the feds and will be getting a big reward for turning him in!

So here is the story titled,

Davenport doctor settles health care fraud lawsuit for $2.2M

Continue reading “Florida Heart Doc Defrauded Taxpayers to the Tune of $2.2 Million”

Federal Trade Commission Reports Top Frauds for 2018

This isn’t a juicy frauds and crooks story like some I’ve reported lately, but it is a useful one sent to me by a reader.

FTC logo

The FTC last week reported a summary of what kinds of consumer frauds were trending and tells us which states are the most fraud-ridden (or at least the states where in 2018 people reported that they had been defrauded).

And get this…..

There was a 38% jump in the amount of money lost to fraud in 2018 over 2017, says the FTC!

Learn which states are the worst for consumer fraud and where to report this type of fraud!

Continue reading “Federal Trade Commission Reports Top Frauds for 2018”

Florida: The Patriot’s Owner and Sex Slaves

I read a bunch of news stories this morning all pretty much agreeing that when Robert Kraft allegedly used the services of a Florida massage parlor, he was interacting with modern day sex slavery.

Most of the ‘workers’ were young Asian girls (Chinese and South Koreans) who cannot speak English and lived at the establishment.

But, what I didn’t find was any report or opinion piece throwing any blame at our LEGAL immigration system that is allowing such large numbers of young women into the US on visas of some sort. Does no one at the US State Department or in USCIS see any red flags with visas from China?

 

Sex slavery in Florida

Here is just one article (by Eric MacLeish at the Boston Globe) about what Robert Kraft has alleged to have participated in.

Sounds like the same type of operation we heard about in rural New Hampshire, here, where they weren’t catching big fish like Kraft, but did arrest some of the Chinese ring-leaders.

Why the allegations against Robert Kraft are a big deal

 

In the wake of the disclosures involving Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft allegedly soliciting two prostitutes at the Orchids of Asia Spa in Juniper, Fla., some commentators have suggested that the charges may get dismissed at the arraignment and that they only involve two alleged misdemeanors for which Kraft cannot be extradited from Massachusetts to Florida. So, no big deal and according to some, Kraft’s place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame looks pretty secure.

Robert Kraft
Maybe the Kraft bust will do us a great service by educating a lot of people about our flawed immigration system!

Kraft has issued a carefully worded statement denying that he did anything against the law. He’s entitled to a trial. The police say that they have video evidence of him engaging in a sex act with two prostitutes that he allegedly paid. Unless it’s another person on that video, a trial seems unlikely. So should all of this go away for Kraft in a neat plea deal?

It should not. Investigators in Florida report that the women working at the spa are victims of a human trafficking operation where they were coerced into performing as many as 15 sex acts a day.

Apparently, many live and sleep at the spa and are undoubtedly working without pay based on some fictitious debt that they incurred for being smuggled into the United States. Some were discovered squatting at the back of the spa, cooking on a hot plate. We don’t know all of the details yet, but let’s be clear. If the allegations are true, Robert Kraft has in effect aided and abetted an organization involving human slavery.

[….]

In cases involving statutory rape (when a child is below the age of consent), it is typically not a defense when a victim misidentifies his or her age. It’s the responsibility of the defendant to find out how old he or she is. There are no charges of underage victims here, but a similar rule should apply. A 2018 Polaris report estimates that there were 9,000 storefront operations similar to Orchids of Asia employing exploited women in the sale of sex, with revenues totaling $2.5 billion.

Most of the women are from China or South Korea and most do not have a high school education. It was up to Kraft to understand the type of operation he was entering on those two visits.

There are more than 400,000 human beings held as slaves in the United States.

More here.

question markWhat do you do? Educate your friends and family members to this horrific practice, and if one of the 9,000 storefront operations is near you, keep an eye on them and look for signs that the Asian girls are not free to leave the establishment and then let the authorities know.

 

Story about Unaccompanied Alien Children in Florida Shelter is Humorous and Infuriating

This is a story from UPI last week that has been languishing in my posting queue.

It’s a longish story, but worth reading if you want to know more about life (the good life) in a shelter for the “children” who have come across our border illegally and unaccompanied.

 

Unaccompanied alien teens
Here come the Unaccompanied Alien Children!

 

I’m only going to bring your attention to a couple of points, one that made me laugh, the other that should infuriate you as it did me!

The point that makes me laugh is this! 

The Office of Refugee Resettlement shelter (never mind that they are not refugees!) houses up to 1,600 youths older than 13.  However, in almost every paragraph (there are 53 paragraphs!) in the story the teens are referred to as “children.”  In fact, the word “child” or “children” is used a whopping 63 times (twice in some paragraphs) while the word “teen” or “teenager” is never used, not even once!

Just that one little linguistic trick is meant to direct your thinking so that you imagine hundreds of little children missing mommy and daddy and crying themselves to sleep each night.

And it infuriates me to read that 670 of the “children” are 17 and older and as they age-out at 18, a big hunt begins to find them “sponsors” to take charge of them so that they aren’t turned over to ICE.

Here are the opening paragraphs of the UPI story,

Feb. 13 (UPI) — A month after federal officials removed the last child from a facility in Texas, 1,600 unaccompanied migrant children are being housed at a so-called temporary emergency shelter in Florida.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services invited UPI and other media on Wednesday to tour the facility in Homestead, Fla., which is located in a former Job Corps facility near the Homestead Air Reserve Base. It is used as a shelter for what HHS calls “unaccompanied alien children,” or UAC — migrants between the ages of 13 and 17 who have no lawful immigration status and no legal guardians able to provide care in the United States.

Since March 2018 more than 6,000 children have been placed at the site and about 4,450 have been discharged to what the department considers suitable sponsors — generally a parent or some other relative — in the United States, according to HHS.

At the time of UPI’s visit, 1,575 children were being sheltered at the facility — 1,143 males and 432 females.

Now check this out!  43% of the “children” are between 17 and 18 years old! (Or, they could be older, see my next post!)

The south campus houses 905 children between the ages of 13 and 16, including 634 males and 271 females, while all 17-year-olds at the facility live on the north campus, which houses 509 males and 161 females.

In case you wondered what happens when the “children” turn 18:

Three months before a “child” turns 18, the sponsor hunt begins in earnest.

Children who turn 18 while in custody at a shelter are considered undocumented immigrants and are released to authorities, Weber said.

There were 21 such cases at the Homestead facility last month and 90 in the past year, the Homestead program coordinator said.

A team of case managers at the facility focuses on finding sponsors for children within three months of their 18th birthday and the program coordinator receives daily reports regarding their status in the two weeks before those children turn 18.

Read the whole story, it is worth your time.

question markRemember, YOU are paying for all of this!  And, more are on the way!  You MUST scream at your elected officials—‘Enough is enough!’—and do it at every opportunity!  Today, you might tell the President (again!) by going to the White House comment page and voicing your opinion.

 

Florida: Indian-American Pain Doctor Sentenced in Medicare Fraud Case

Last week 66-year-old Jayam Krishna Iyer was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to repay $52,000 in false claims for Medicare reimbursement after years of dispensing dangerous pain meds to patients she didn’t even see!

 

Dr. Iyer leaves court
Dr. Iyer leaving court last September after admitting guilt. Expressed no remorse!  https://www.wfla.com/8-on-your-side/investigations/clearwater-pain-doctor-admits-to-medicare-fraud-and-surrenders-license/1457146533

 

What is up with these Indian doctors, we recently had another story of an Indian pain doctor in Michigan, see here.

From News India:

Indian-American doctor in Florida sentenced to prison for fraud

 

An Indian-American doctor in Clearwater, Florida was sent to prison Jan. 30, after being convicted for health care fraud.

U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. sentenced Jayam Krishna Iyer, 66, to six months in federal prison for committing health care fraud, and ordered Iyer to forfeit more than $52,000 in health care fraud proceeds. He also ordered her to pay restitution to the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

In addition, the court ordered Iyer to forfeit her Florida medical license, permanently excluding her from participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. And, Iyer agreed to surrender her Drug Enforcement Agency registration number, which had been used to prescribe controlled substances, and not to reapply for a DEA registration number for at least 20 years.

According to the press release from the U.S. Attorney for Middle District of Florida, based on court documents, Iyer owned and operated Creative Medical Center, on Druid Road East in Clearwater. The center functioned as a pain management clinic; Iyer conducted office visits and wrote prescriptions for controlled substances, including oxycodone, morphine, and fentanyl.

Beginning in July 2011 and continuing through December 2017, Iyer carried out a scheme to defraud Medicare by billing for face-to-face office visits with Medicare and Medicaid patients, when, in fact, certain patients had not gone to Iyer’s office and had not been examined by her on the claimed dates, prosecutors found.

Instead, family members of patients had visited Iyer’s office, where she issued prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances, including oxycodone, to the family members in the patients’ names. Iyer thereby violated a Florida law requiring doctors to perform an in-person office visit and examination of each patient before issuing Schedule II controlled substance prescriptions.

 

More here.

Some additional information on Dr. Iyer is here at Tampa’s WFLA in September when she admitted her guilt.

Clearwater pain doctor admits to medicare fraud and surrenders license

On Aug. 31, Dr. Iyer signed an agreement with federal prosecutors in Tampa admitting guilt to one felony count of Medicare fraud that will cost her at least $51,000 in restitution in addition to giving up her medical career. She also faces a possible fine of up to $250,000 and as much as 10 years in prison.

Iyer did not express any remorse before, during or after the hearing, but in court freely admitted to stealing from taxpayers through Medicare fraud for a period of at least six years in her practice at the Creative Heath Center located at 1210 Druid Road in Clearwater.

[….]

After a public records request, the Pinellas Medical Examiner sent 8 On Your Side an eight-page list of drugs prescribed by Iyer , including fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone and dilaudid, that turned up in various Medical Examiner investigations of suspicious deaths.

None of those ME cases resulted in a criminal prosecution of Iyer. She has also faced six malpractice lawsuits filed in Pinellas civil court according to court records.

[….]

The physician who earned her medical degree in India said she is a U.S. citizen so she does not face a threat of deportation for her felony conviction.

Go here for the rest of the story and to see the news clip.

question markI think we have a tendency to think doctors are caring and compassionate and most of all not scammers, but these cases of medical doctors, often ‘new American’ medical doctors, and their involvement in fueling America’s prescription drug epidemic are starting to pile up.  I think they need more publicity so that maybe more of you will be able to identify these frauds in your own communities. Where is the national media?

Trial Begins February 11th in Largest Medicare Fraud Bust in US

The case involves American crooks, nursing homes, doctors, hospital workers, and over a billion in lost taxpayer dollars.

Editor: One of my readers is urging me to write something about American frauds, crooks and criminals so I’ve picked this news about a case the federal government says is its largest bust (so far). (Incidentally, the charity fraud posts like the one I wrote about yesterday are about Americans too!)

Today’s story is about former ‘one-percenter’ Philip Esformes and his father Rabbi Morris Esformes and their nursing home empire.

From the Miami Herald on Tuesday,

Once among the ‘1 percent,’ executive faces $1 billion Medicare fraud trial

 

Not long ago, Miami Beach executive Philip Esformes was living quite comfortably among America’s “1 percent,” raking in millions from his healthcare business, gobbling up pricey real estate and darting around the country in chartered jets.

Philip Esformes
Philip Esformes has been held behind bars since his arrest in July 2016.

Then, in a flash, his luxurious lifestyle went poof: FBI agents arrested Esformes in July 2016 and he suddenly became the poster boy for the biggest Medicare fraud case in the country. He was charged with bilking $1 billion out of the federal healthcare program for the elderly and disabled, while his vast business assets and bank accounts were frozen. Worse, Esformes, 50, was ordered held without bail at the Federal Detention Center in Miami.

Esformes was back in court Monday for one final hearing before he goes to trial by himself on Feb. 11. Once always tan and fit, he looked wan and frail as his defense team tried in vain to delay the start of trial. They sought more time to review the Justice Department’s long list of patients who prosecutors say received no services or medically unnecessary treatment at Esformes’ Miami-Dade chain of skilled-nursing and assisted-living facilities.

[….]

Esformes is standing trial alone because all of his co-conspirators have already pleaded guilty, including a physician’s assistant, Arnaldo Carmouze, and a former Larkin Community Hospital outpatient director, Odette Barcha. In January, both admitted that they recycled Medicare patients through the hospital and Esformes’ network of nursing homes and ALFs in an elaborate bribery scheme that prosecutors say was orchestrated by the healthcare executive.

Carmouze, 59, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud Medicare by accepting bribes for making patient referrals to Larkin and Esformes’ healthcare facilities. Barcha, 52, pleaded guilty to conspiring to pay bribes to physicians to refer patients to Larkin and receiving kickbacks herself to move patients into Esformes’ facilities.

Read the story, the list of charges is stunning, including this one:

Screenshot (860)
See a timeline of more than two decades of scams involving Philip and his father Rabbi Morris Esformes here: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/ct-esformes-timeline-met-20161002-story.html

Esformes is also accused of referring his own network of patients to convicted healthcare-fraud offenders, including Guillermo and Gabriel Delgado, who are serving prison time. The brothers admitted swindling Medicare for mental-health, prescription-drug, and home-healthcare services, and they ultimately helped federal investigators target the Miami Beach executive.

According to the indictment, the brothers paid some kickbacks for the patients by disguising them as payments for escort services for Esformes as well as related travel and hotel expenses.

Esformes was also charged with obstructing justice because prosecutors say he plotted in 2015 with the Delgado brothers to help one of them leave Miami for Israel to avoid trial.

More here.

For those interested in more on the cheaters, see this local news story from 2016 about divorce court proceedings where Philip’s ex-wife said he believed that “money is king.”

Accused wealthy fraudster’s alleged parenting style: ‘Money is king’

The federal Medicare Fraud Strike Force was involved in the extensive investigation.

question markAre you keeping tabs of loved ones in nursing homes? Are they receiving treatment they don’t need while the facility bills Medicare? Or are they perhaps keeping a rehab patient longer than is necessary simply to milk the system, a system that is predicted to be insolvent by 2026?

Imagine “Medicare for all” that the Dems continue to clamor for!