Fall 2017 trial for alleged leader in $1B health care fraud

A fall 2017 trial date is set for a South Florida businessman accused of orchestrating a $1 billion Medicare and Medicaid fraud scheme.

Court records show a Miami federal judge on Wednesday scheduled 48-year-old Philip Esformes' trial for Sept. 18. Esformes, who has pleaded not guilty, faces a potential life prison sentence if convicted of multiple fraud, conspiracy and other charges.

Authorities say Esformes ran 30 and assisted living facilities that used a network of corrupt doctors and hospitals to refer thousands of patients to the facilities, even though they did not qualify for services. Esformes and others also allegedly got kickbacks for steering patients to other health centers.

The Justice Department says it's the largest health fraud case in U.S. history.

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