CONFIRMED BY ILL. SUPREME COURT– YOU ARE VIEWING THE MOST DANGEROUS BLOG IN ILLINOIS. This blog warranted a 3 year suspension by the ARDC/Jerome Larkin! Mottos: "Sunlight is the best disinfectant". Justice Louis Brandeis ; "If the truth can destroy something, then it deserves to be destroyed" Carl Sagan; "Justice is Truth in Action" Benjamin Disraeli. Illinois uses the ARDC to quash dissenting attorney activist blogs ; "The freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic Governments" — (1776-First Amendment preamble adopted by 8 US colonies)
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OPINION – No Amount of Money is Going Incentivize a Morally Bankrupt and Profit Centric Nursing Home Owner/Operator/ Manager to Improve Care to Patients – More Oversight is Required
Whomever thought up the idea that shelling out MORE money to nursing homes, their owners, managers, wealthy entrepreneurs and magnates to reduce Covid-19 numbers doesn’t seem to understand the dynamics of the nursing home industry. In fact, that idea represents an utter and complete disregard for the entire history of the nursing home industry, the coining of money that occurs and the harrowing lack of oversight that lead to Covid-19 deaths.
It was not about a lack of funding for appropriate care. The deaths were caused by greed. The stockpiling of PPE (and respirators) so they could be traded or sold on a secondary market, represented greed.
The obscene amounts of money that has already been given to fabulously wealthy owners, operators and magnates in the form of PPP and EIDL loans has only allowed the wealthy to get wealthier. It has improved nothing else. And, you cannot buy a conscience with that money, which would be what is required to stop improve the quality of life of every individual currently residing in nursing homes and to prevent further death when Covid-19 ravages these homes again.
To many of the owners, operators and managers in for-profit care nursing and rehabilitation centers, a patient represents an equity interest in a financial gain, whether that gain is in the form of Medicare/Medicaid or private insurance, or in the form of a life insurance policy after a patient has died. Nursing care is not about improving the lives for human beings, the vulnerable and the most in need of care and compassion. It is not about preventing a spread of a deadly virus.
For every person who died from Covid-19, the owners, operators and magnates made money on life insurance policies where they didn’t on some other death benefit or healthcare payment. The owners, operators and managers are all but printing money in the basements of some of these homes, coining it. They DO NOT need more money. What they need is oversight.
For many of these nursing home owners, operators, managers and the equity interested individuals, providing additional access to money is like giving an opiate to an addict. You cannot instill in many of these individuals a sense of moral obligation to do right by their patients, clients and families. These people are not morally challenged they are morally bankrupt and the money only feeds into an ability to obtain more equity on human life and death.As the scandal perpetuate (but are covered up by the media) it is apparent that an HONEST INVESTIGATION by a specially impaneled GRAND JURY is required. The miscreants can and have purchased justice to the detriment of population they are supposed to service. Our trusted public servants cannot and/or will not do the tasks that they were elected to do. In certain situations the failure is due to incompetence, but in too many circumstances it is pure greed. If anyone needs a reminder of just how ‘dirty’ the HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN GRANDMA is, all they have to do is look at some of the cases. The Sallas case 07 P 5360 is a clear example. The public guardian certain knows all about 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22, yet he acted allegedly in concert with the ByLine Bank in a scheme to have Amelia Sallas sign loan documents that the Illinois Legislature made it a crime for the Bank to have Amelia sign them How will the criminal action descried in 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 be addressed? Given the current pattern of ‘cover up’ in the Illinois Courts – it will be swept under the rug. If enough storm and drama is generated we will be offered more useless legislation. The miscreants will take their booty hide it and not be bothered to pay the INCOME TAXES due. In fact the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary commission will hurry to the aid of the miscreants and ignore their collective duties and their ethical considerations mandated by ABA Rule 8.3. The FIX IS IN! Dean Sallas’ life was threatened for speaking up for himself. What will happen to him if he is successful in seeking Justice? The death threat to Sallas has been ignored by the authorities!
Nursing home mogul Philip Esformes sentenced to 20 years for $1.3 billion Medicaid fraud
By DAVID JACKSON and MARIO ARIZASOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL |SEP 12, 2019 AT 7:57 PMChicago Tribune reporter David Jackson explains how wealthy nursing home operator Philip Esformes allegedly became the orchestrator of a $1 billion Medicaid and Medicare bribery and kickback scheme. Oct. 4, 2016.
Former Illinois and Florida nursing home mogul Philip Esformes wept and pleaded for mercy Thursday before being sentenced to 20 years in prison for what the U.S. Justice Department called the largest single health care bribery and kickback scheme in American history.
A separate hearing will be held in November to determine the amount of money and property Esformes may be required to forfeit.
Esformes, who once controlled a network of more than two dozen health care facilities that stretched from Chicago to Miami, garnered $1.3 billion Medicaid revenues by bribing medical professionals who referred patients to his Florida facilities then paid off government regulators as vulnerable residents were injured by their peers, prosecutors said.
Philip Esformes, shown in 2015, once controlled a network of more than two dozen health care facilities that stretched from Chicago to Miami, (Rob Latour / Rob Latour/Invision/AP)
He housed elderly patients alongside younger adults who suffered from mental illness and drug addiction — sometimes with fatal results. In Esformes’ Oceanside Extended Care Center in Miami Beach, “an elderly patient was attacked and beaten to death by a younger mental health patient who never should have been at (a nursing facility) in the first place,” prosecutors wrote in a pre-sentencing memo.
As he handed down the sentence, Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. said the length and scope of Esformes’ criminal conduct were “unmatched in our community. … Mr. Esformes violated the trust of Medicare and Medicaid in epic proportions.”
But Scola meted out a punishment significantly less than the 30 years prosecutors requested, saying Esformes also had an extraordinary history of helping people in need. Attorneys for Esformes had described him as a selfless philanthropist who had donated more than $15 million to synagogues, schools and needy individuals, often anonymously.Said Scola: “I think he should get some consideration for his philanthropy, although it’s dangerous to say because he was stealing money from Medicare, so people might say he was giving that money to charity. But the vast majority of the money he made, he made legitimately. More importantly he was a true friend to people known and unknown to him, and that is worthy of mitigation.” (comment – pure BS! It has been suggested that when money was given to a charity the charity had to kick back under the table. The Omnicare scandal also is an interesting situation.)
In arguing for a 30-year sentence, prosecutors said his yearslong bribes-for-patients schemes involved the corruption of medical professionals and government regulators, and entailed grievous injuries to a massive number of elderly patients.
“Miami is the epicenter of health care fraud, there was no one like Philip Esformes, he was king,” prosecutor Allan J. Medina told the judge in court Thursday.
Many of his younger, drug-addicted patients spent the daylight hours wandering the streets of Miami while he collected government payments for services that were never delivered, prosecutors said.
“Phillip Esformes used deceptive and calculated means to orchestrate a fraud of the magnitude that we have not seen before,” Medina said. “People who needed to get better, who wanted to get better, they had no shot.”
“His fraud involved thousands of patients, 16 nursing homes, the systematic payment of bribes, a complex web of bank accounts, and brazen obstruction of justice to try to prevent it all from coming to light,” prosecutor Elizabeth Young wrote in a sentencing memo filed with the court this week.
Esformes, who has been in maximum security detention for 37 months since his 2016 arrest, called himself a shattered, repentant man when he stood before the judge. His shoulders drooped beneath his baggy khaki prison shirt as he began rocking back and forth.
“I want to apologize to, your honor, the United States. Sorry. And my community.” As Esformes began to recite the names of his children, he briefly became incoherent. Groans and cries of “Oh God!” escaped from his family and supporters in the gallery.
“I’ve lost everything I love and cared about with the utmost intensity,” he said. “There is no one to blame but myself, me.”
While preparing his defense, Esformes told the judge, he had listened repeatedly to wiretapped conversations that revealed him arranging bribes. “I am disgusted by what I heard,” he said, at one point pounding a courtroom podium with his fist. “The Phil Esformes you heard was reckless … an arrogant man.”
Esformes said he was studying the Torah and praying for redemption. “I won’t miss that opportunity,” he said.
Prosecutors said Esformes should be forced to pay $207 million in restitution to Medicaid and Medicare; attorneys for Esformes sharply questioned that amount in court Thursday.
Judge Scola closely questioned prosecutors about how they calculated the value of the Medicaid proceeds Esformes stole over the years, ultimately finding the loss to be between $4.8 million and $8.3 million.In this 2011 court deposition, lawyers from Chicago’s Goldberg Kohn firm questioned Philip Esformes about how he and his father worked together.
Federal authorities arrested Esformes at one of his $2 million estates on the Miami Beach waterfront in 2016 and immediately placed him in the Miami Federal Detention Center.
At the time, he had a net worth of $78.9 million in bank accounts and investments, and hardly any debts, according to court papers filed by prosecutors. He maintained a Chicago Water Tower penthouse and a mansion in Los Angeles.
Esformes was deemed an extraordinary flight risk in part because he had been caught on a wiretap offering to help his business partner Guillermo Delgado flee from the U.S. to avoid prosecution as the federal investigators closed in on them.
Delgado, who helped Esformes defraud Medicare for mental health and prescription drug services, instead helped federal investigators bring Esformes to justice. He and his brother Gabriel Delgado are now serving prison time.
In one of Esformes’ crimes, prosecutors said, he used some $300,000 in stolen Medicare and Medicaid proceeds to bribe the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Pennsylvania to admit Esformes’ son to the school.
That coach, Jerome Allen, pleaded guilty in October to a money-laundering charge related to the Esformes bribes. He testified as a government witness against Esformes at the Miami trial. Allen received a probationary sentence and is now in his third season as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics.
The dozens of nursing facilities Esformes ran with his father and business partner Morris Esformes for decades earned millions of Medicaid and Medicare dollars annually despite repeated federal law enforcement probes and Chicago Tribune investigations alleging substandard care and incidents when disabled patients were assaulted by fellow residents.
“Instead of changing his ways or expressing remorse after these settlements, Esformes simply altered his criminal scheme to avoid detection,” prosecutor Young wrote in the court filing.
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Esformes sold his Illinois nursing facilities in about 2012 but kept offices in the Chicago suburbs as he continued to operate homes in Florida with his father, government records and Tribune interviews show.
The latest case wasn’t the first time that Esformes faced fraud accusations.
In 2006, Philip Esformes was among the current and former owners of Larkin Community Hospital in Miami who were required to pay $15.4 million to settle federal and Florida civil health care fraud claims.
In that matter, one of the other defendants was Dr. Jack Michel, CEO of Larkin Community Hospital, who made his own headlines in 2017 after the 12 heat-related deaths of patients at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. Michel isn’t affiliated with Esformes in the latest Medicaid fraud legal battle that is sending Esformes to prison.
In this video Dr. Robert Sarahan, MD speaks out against the corrupt system known as “guardianship” in this country. His mother was abused and murdered in guardianship, his and my dear friend, Ms. Barbara Stone, JD, also had a mother who was abused and murdered in guardianship. Ms. Stone was arrested numerous times for speaking out against the severe gship abuse of her mother (story elsewhere on this blog) and she had to do months in prison for contempt (speaking out about her mother’s case) and interfering with the care of her mother (she took her mother out for a hamburger and fries and was able to show her mother ate just fine, tyvm, but the court and guardians put a feeding tube in her so that the nursing home did not have to take the time to hand feed her.
The abuse continues. Please sign Dr. Sarahan’s petition.
2 Cook County judges, indicted Ald. Ed Burke, 3 retired judges partnered in investment club
Judge Michael Toomin presides over the juvenile justice division and is running for retention in November. Judge James Shapiro hears family law cases.By Steve Garrison | Injustice Watch Sep 11, 2020, 5:30am CDT
Two sitting Cook County circuit judges and three retired judges are partners in a company with attorneys including indicted Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), records show.
Participants in the company, called Table of Wisdom LLC, say it’s an investment club formed by a group of longtime friends who regularly met for breakfast and decided to pool their money so they’d have something to talk about.
Two of the partners in Table of Wisdom are sitting judges:
Cook County Circuit Judge James Shapiro, who hears family law cases in the domestic relations division.
Both declined to comment.
Other members include:
Burke, the longtime Southwest Side alderman who is charged in a May 2019 federal racketeering and extortion indictment that accuses him of using his position on the Chicago City Council to withhold construction permits for a Burger King in his ward in an unsuccessful bid to get the restaurant to hire his law firm for property tax appeals. He has pleaded not guilty and remains in office. He didn’t respond to interview requests.
Retired judges Margarita Kulys Hoffman, Clifford Meachem and Warren Wolfson.
Attorney Barry Greenburg, who runs a firm that focuses on family law.
And attorneys Marvin Leavitt and Michael Stiegel, who practice family law together in the Chicago firm that Leavitt started after he retired from the Illinois Appellate Court.
Judges aren’t prohibited from joining such investment clubs in Illinois, according to retired Lake County Circuit Judge Ray McKoski, now an adjunct professor teaching judicial ethics at UIC John Marshall Law School.
But Illinois law warns of the potential for conflicts of interest when judges go into business with attorneys. Judges should refrain from financial and business dealings that “involve the judge in frequent transactions with lawyers or persons likely to come before the court on which the judge serves,” according to the Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct.
Other states have taken a firmer stand on investment clubs. Judicial ethics boards in New York and Massachusetts have said judges should not participate in investment clubs.
“In our view, if a judge should not give investment advice to a charity, a judge should not be giving investment advice to twenty private persons in an investment club,” the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s Committee on Judicial Ethics wrote in a 1995 advisory opinion.
Table of Wisdom reflects the court system’s reputation as being largely white, older men with financial and personal ties to each other and the Democratic Party. Of the 10 company partners Toomin disclosed in forms submitted to the Illinois Supreme Court, the nine who could be identified are white, and all but one are men.
More than 70 percent of the Cook County judiciary is white, compared with 42 percent of the county’s population, and nearly 60 percent of judges are men, according to 2018 statistics provided by Chief Cook County Judge Timothy Evans.
Table of Wisdom was incorporated in May 2018, according to its filings with the Illinois secretary of state’s office.
Kulys Hoffman, who retired from the bench last year, said Table of Wisdom is an investment club. She wouldn’t say how much money members were expected to contribute to the investment fund and said she doesn’t know whether the group is still active.
Though Table of Wisdom filed its annual report in May with the secretary of state’s office, Steigel said the company disbanded earlier this year over “disagreements” on where to invest.
Leavitt is the group’s registered agent and, according to Steigel, was the group’s founder. Leavitt’s law firm was the third-highest contributor to the political action committee set up to retain Cook County judges, giving a total of $20,260 as of 2018.
A former circuit and appellate judge who served on the Illinois Appellate Court with Burke’s wife, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, Leavitt returned to private practice in 2002. He practices family law as a founding partner of Grund & Leavitt.