US — Fla. health care admin charged in $1B Medicare fraud case

Magnifying glass by John Lester

From the ABC News story:

A Florida health care administrator accepted bribes in exchange for helping a nursing home owner accused of orchestrating a $1 billion Medicare and Medicaid fraud scheme keep his license, federal prosecutors said.

Blanco made about $31,300 a year overseeing inspections at nursing facilities owned by 48-year-old Philip Esformes, an extremely wealthy businessman who owns dozens of Miami-Dade nursing facilities as well as homes in Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago, prosecutors said.

A criminal complaint filed against Blanco accused her of taking tens of thousands of dollars in cash in exchange for tipping Esformes off about violations so he could address them before state inspections.

Blanco’s aid allowed Esformes to keep his license active and continue billing the federal government for questionable patient services, the complaint alleged.

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