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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Jury selection gets underway Monday for the trial of a health care executive accused of defrauding Medicare of $1 billion.

Philip Esformes, 50, operated a network of 30 nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Florida. Prosecutors say he and other conspirators referred thousands of Medicare patients to their facilities even if they didn’t qualify for services.

Esformes is also accused of accepting kickbacks for steering Medicare patients to other health care providers, which then billed the government program for unnecessary services.

Esformes has pleaded not guilty and has been jailed since his 2016 arrest. Two others involved in the scheme have pleaded guilty.

Esformes faces a lengthy prison sentence if convicted.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments
  1. Mark Potter says:

    A billion years should be about right.

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