Schakowsky Blasts Commutation of Medicaid Fraudster’s Sentence

December 23, 2020
Press Release

EVANSTON – Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Co-Chair of the House Democrats Task Force on Aging and Families, blasted President Trump for commuting the sentence of Philip Esformes who was convicted for what the Department of Justice called “the largest single health care bribery and kickback scheme in American history”:

“President Trump is truly showing us who he values with his slew of pardons and commutations as he unveils the contempt he has for the rule of law. Philip Esformes stole from taxpayers, raking in $1.3 billion in revenues from Medicaid and Medicare. Today’s commutation of Esformes is an insult to the hard-working professionals who work in our nursing homes and provide care to our nation’s seniors. It also diminishes the hard work that law enforcement officials did to bring this fraudster to justice. 

“Esformes preyed on the Chicago and Miami communities, where he would bribe medical professionals while placing vulnerable residents in harmful situations. For example, he placed older nursing home residents with younger patients who had mental illnesses. These situations led to residents being attacked and beaten to death, while Esformes paid off government regulators to look the other way. He allowed substance-addicted patients to wander in the streets while he collected government payments for services and treatment he was supposed to be providing them. He violated the trust of Medicaid and Medicare in untold proportions, in a way that sews distrust in an industry vital to the health and safety of our nation’s seniors and others. I have fought for years to bring reforms to the nursing home industry, to protect our nation’s most vulnerable residents and to prevent the kind of scams and fraud perpetrated by Mr. Esformes. I will continue to work with my colleagues to prevent these kinds of situations and to protect the integrity of programs like Medicaid and Medicare.”