Kim Kardashian has launched a furious defense of a Florida businessman who faces re-prosecution for orchestrating a $1 billion Medicare fraud scheme after his 20-year sentence was commuted by former president Donald Trump.
Philip Esformes, 52, was convicted in 2019 of 20 criminal counts, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, paying and receiving kickbacks, money laundering, bribery, and obstruction of justice- and hit with a 20-year prison sentence.
His $1.3 billion Medicare fraud scheme was described by prosecutors as one of the biggest Medicare fraud cases in US history.
The former healthcare executive only served four-and-a-half years of his two-decade prison sentence and was released December 22, 2022 along with up to 200 other convicts whose sentences were commuted in the final days of Trump’s presidency.
On Saturday, Kardashian took to Twitter calling his case ‘prosecutorial misconduct’ and encouraged her supporters to read and share Esformes’ story.
‘Now the DOJ is trying to send him back to prison for the same crimes the judge sentenced him on. Please read his story and share,’ she wrote.
Kardashian took to Twitter on Saturday calling the case ‘prosecutorial misconduct’ and encouraged her supporters to read and share Esformes’ story since the Department of Justice is trying to send him back to prison
Philip Esformes, 52, was convicted of 20 criminal counts, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, paying and receiving kickbacks, money laundering, bribery, and obstruction of justice in 2019. Prosecutors described his $1.3 billion Medicare scheme as one of the biggest Medicare fraud cases in US history
Kardashian defends former healthcare fraudster Phillip Esfomes
Kardashian asks her supporters to read and share Esformes’ story
‘Philip Esformes was convicted of 20 charges equaling $170k. The judge then used those charges along with charges a jury found him NOT guilty of and sentenced him to 20 years in prison and 43 million dollars in restitution and criminal asset forfeiture.
‘Philip served 4.5 years in prison – much of it in isolation in order to avoid abuse by guards and other prisoners while observing his devout religious beliefs,’ Kardashian tweeted.
‘After hearing about the prosecutorial misconduct in the case, Trump gave Philip a commutation and let him come home to his family. He has focused on giving back and has been a law abiding, devoutly religious family man.’
Esformes had 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.
FBI agents described Esformes as a man ‘driven by almost unbounded greed.’
Trump at the time claimed the move had been supported by a number of former attorneys general and said Esformes was ailing, but did not specify his health condition.
The White House had issued a statement at the time his 20-year sentence was commuted by the former president.
‘While in prison, Mr. Esformes, who is 52, has been devoted to prayer and repentance and is in declining health,’ the White House said in a statement.
Philip Esformes was among those pardoned by President Trump in the final days of his presidency. Esformes, 52, had been serving a 20-year sentence for orchestrating a $1billion Medicare fraud scheme. FBI agents describes Esformes as a man ‘driven by almost unbounded greed’
Trump at the time claimed the move had been supported by a number of former attorneys general and said Esformes was ailing, but did not specify his health condition
Days after his release however, Esformes was photographed dancing at his daughter Serena’s wedding held in the backyard of his multimillion-dollar Miami Beach home that took place on New Year’s Eve, the New York Times reported.
The celebration – and Esformes’s pardon – appeared to have angered some of his own neighbors.
On Twitter, Gary Ressler shared a photo of a gift basket sent by the newlyweds to neighbors as an apology for the loud festivities.
‘Wishing you a happy & healthy 2021! We apologize in advance for any noise from the celebration of our marriage. Xoxo, Drew and Serena,’ the couple said in a note along with a champagne gift basket.
The gesture, however, did not sit well with Ressler, who blasted Esformes for hosting such a party and pointed out that the fraudster’s home had been ‘reroofed and re-landscaped’ ahead of his release.
‘This mother******, Philip Esformes stole $1.5BB from [Medicare] couldn’t be bothered to mow his lawn for the four years he spent in the prison but, days after a [Trump] pardon, he found the wherewithal to host a grand wedding for his daughter in his backyard tonight!’ Ressler tweeted, adding ‘#CrimePays.’
Federal prosecutor Paul E. Pelletier, who spent years pursuing charges in the case, chimed in slamming the presidential pardon which he said undermined the hard work and duties of public servants.
‘It is an incredible kick in the teeth to the agents and prosecutors who toil away every day under very difficult circumstances to achieve justice and some restitution to the taxpayers from the billions of dollars that has literally been stolen from them,’ Pelletier told the Times.
‘If you are going to steal $250 million from Medicare, you are going to jail for 20 years. I have no sympathy for these people. None,’ he added, revealing the prosecution had intentionally sought a long sentence to make an example of the fraudster.
Included in Trump’s list of controversial pardons at the time was Judith Negron, who had been convicted in a separate $205million Medicare fraud scam, conspiracy and money laundering.
She had served only eight years of a 35-year sentence at a Florida prison when she was first granted clemency in February after her case was brought to Trump’s attention by Kim Kardashian.
Trump then commuted the remainder of her term of supervised release in December.