‘As for the probation and other things levied against Penn, it’s pretty lame and/or harsh, since Allen was acting for personal gain when he took money from Philip Esformes, who wanted his son Morris to play for the Quakers and attend the Wharton Business School. Penn had their program under control, and it wasn’t like they were benefiting from this; it was simply Allen taking a bribe that didn’t really tip the scales or create an unbalanced playing field.’

Er, not quite. Readers will recall UD‘s extensive, and really kind of fun, coverage of the inimitable Philip Esformes (scroll down) and his BFF, U Penn HEAD basketball coach (datz right – not coaching staff, not booster, HEAD COACH) Jerome Allen, a man who used a position of high responsibility, visibility, and salary to pretend that Esformes’ pisher was actually a Penn basketball recruit in order to get the unskilled unbright cheater into Wharton. This was a version of the Varsity Blues deal, with a $250,000 bribe going directly into the hands of the man U Penn judged ethically appropriate to run its entire basketball operation.

Lots of sports writers are okay with Allen getting thrown out of the college game (Who cares. He now has a job in professional basketball, where taking only a quarter million bribe is a mark of serious inadequacy.), but they’re all huffy cuz Penn got some penalties too. After all, they just housed a moral degenerate… and the whole bribery thing didn’t fuck up their winning average or anything, so why, God, why?

The Storied Esformes Family Adds Another Chapter to its Amazing History.

Three generations of them grace this land of ours – the grandfather, who established a dirty chain of nursing homes in Chicago; the son, who committed the biggest Medicare fraud in American history; and the grandson, whose admission to U Penn came about because of Esformes money paid to its basketball coach (now convicted of bribery). Read all about it.

Having spent every waking moment of his entire life breaking almost every known law, the son’s contrition in front of the judge today lacked a certain…

The son got twenty years, and might have gotten fewer if he’d been willing to say to the judge, in that contrition thing, exactly what he’d done …

At a critical juncture before he imposed Esformes’ punishment, the judge seemed willing to lower his final sentence by four years if the defendant agreed to elaborate on his “acceptance of responsibility” in his original statement to Scola. The judge said he would only acknowledge Esformes’ acceptance if he specifically admitted he paid bribes and committed other crimes. But … Esformes’ legal team chose not to go that route because it would have precluded their appeal of his trial convictions.

That’s it, babe. An Esformes to the bitter end. Might fuck up his appeal.

‘[During a meeting at one of his facilities, [Philip] Esformes told Gaby Delgado about a woman who had recently killed herself because she was facing legal problems related to health care. He said she did the right thing and that Delgado should do the same …’

Most of the meetings took place in Esformes’ swimming pool (you need to register for access to the linked site) – he was worried Delgado might be wearing a wire – but this bit of personal counseling went on in one of the defendant’s many Medicare/Medicaid money extraction locations…

Man, I told you this trial would be fun! I told you! The biggest health care fraud in the history of this country is the culmination of generations of effort by the pious, illustrious Esformes family,  whose patriarch’s name adorns a chair at the University of Miami medical school, and whose scion played basketball so well for the University of Pennsylvania that his coach is going to prison.

Graduated Sackler; Has the Esformes Chair…

… how many more besmirched names can this guy fit on his business card?

Esformes: Get Ready!

The author of America’s biggest health care fraud ever goes to trial February 11! (Various boring underlings have already pled guilty. I’m sure Philip Esformes’ lawyers will describe the evil way these evil people led their client astray.) UD promises you that the guy who bribed U Penn’s basketball coach to get his kid on the team will be spectacular on the stand. This is one to watch. We’ll enjoy – hell, love – covering it here on University Diaries.

Wotta shocker.

Philip Esformes, a man incapable, as a matter, it seems, of principle, of obeying virtually any law, has been found guilty of this country’s largest health care fraud ever.

Much of the Esformes tale, which features his self-presentation as a seriously religious person, is scripted by Woody Allen. (‘The witnesses described how Esformes would direct them to pay doctors in cash, using code words like “fettuccine.”‘)

With his corporate and personal assets frozen, Esformes’ father, Morris, paid for the son’s costly defense, which has included lawyers from Black’s high-profile law firm and other attorneys. The father, with his son’s assistance, had amassed a fortune in the healthcare field in Chicago before they set their sights on Miami, where they got into trouble with the law for the first time in 2006. Back then, the Esformes family and the owners of Larkin Hospital paid $15.4 million to the U.S. government in a Justice Department settlement to resolve a civil violation of recycling patients between the hospital and the family’s nursing-home facilities and ALFs — a precursor to the current criminal case.

And Morris… well, about Morris you don’t wanna know… Very highly esteemed at Rogue Central, University of Miami medical school.

‘There isn’t an abomination award going that you haven’t won.’

George, in UD‘s favorite play, is famous for having said this to Martha; but I think it does as well for the gathering storm that is Philip Esformes – a man who seems never to have seen a code law or rule he didn’t try to break.

UD roaring back…

… from her recent brief illness. Still a bit weak, but recovering in a seaside room in Rehoboth Beach, so nothing to complain about. Frustrated that I don’t have the energy to blog just yet, since the admissions scandal keeps spawning scandalettes (many involving a UD fave, Philip Esformes!) and I’m determined to keep up. If there were ever a story that had UNIVERSITY DIARIES written all over it, this is the one.

Sixty million freshmen can’t be wrong.

Jared Kushner, Morris Esformes, Ralph Lauren’s kids, and millions of others (well, haha, not millions; only the very rich can buy elite college admissions for their kids) have been at it for years, and who knows why the DOJ decided today to make some noise about it… And they made a lot of noise – it’s all over the front pages! – cuz famous actresses and all are involved…

I mean, you knew, UD-reader — you already knew, right? — that what Philip Esformes did to get his uncoordinated dummy into U Penn via his amazing basketball skills is standard practice among a certain slice of this country’s obscenely well to do, ja? We are talking here after all about the cubs of some of America’s most powerful predators; you think they’re not going to use their money on the cubs’ behalf with the same scorched-earth aggression they used to accumulate the money in the first place?

And yes, UD is waiting with the same warm pleasurable anticipation you are for the secret recordings of these parents (full list, with adjuvant malefactors, here) as they open up about the vagaries of genetics… The kid’s a real flop and I have no idea why… It’s actually been an embarrassment in my career that I failed to produce even one above average child with any of my wives… See what you can do for her… I can pay the school or the coach or whatever up to ten million…

******************

So there are too many people being arrested at the moment to cover them all; let’s just focus on UD‘s close neighbor, Chevy Chase, Maryland’s own Gordie Ernst. (I actually had dinner, a few years ago, a few doors down from Ernst’s two million dollar house; the host was a big fancy lobbyist.) Let’s see what Gordie, then Georgetown University’s tennis coach, did.

[Ernst] designated at least 12 applicants as recruits for the Georgetown tennis team, including some who did not play tennis competitively, the indictment alleges. This assisted those applicants in their quest to gain admission to the school, according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges that on Aug. 19, 2015, [William] Singer instructed an applicant to send Ernst an email containing false information about their tennis ability. In fact, the applicant did not play competitive tennis. Ernst then forwarded the email to Georgetown’s admissions office “to confirm my usage of three spots,” or that the applicant would be part of his recruiting class.

In April of 2016 the parents of the applicant sent $400,000 to [a bogus] charitable account set up by Singer. Between Sept. 2015 and August of 2016, Ernst received checks totaling $700,000 from one of the charitable accounts.

Gordie made millions in this way, but UD understands his desperation. Here’s a long article about the tragedy of Georgetown’s outdoor courts being temporarily unavailable due to construction. This meant that Gordie couldn’t, for a year or two, run his summer tennis camps.

Ernst will also not be able to share in the revenue generated by the camp, which previously was an important financial source for the coach. Ernst said that losing the camps has been a “big financial hit” for him and his family.

Luckily, as fate would have it, at the very same time Gordie was pocketing millions of dollars by taking bribes to admit lots of unadmittable people to Georgetown!

**********************

Georgetown University removed Gordon Ernst as tennis coach in December 2017, after an internal investigation found that he had violated university rules concerning admissions, said a spokeswoman, Meghan Dubyak.

HYUK! Guess nobody told University of Rhode Island, which hired Gordie right after Georgetown booted him! But then the Catholic Church is famous for… moving its… bad actors… around from… parish? to parish….

But what’s truly beautiful is the way Gordie spun his desperate end of the road move back to Rhode Island as a shimmering golden no-place-like-home local-boy-makes-good tale:

“We are thrilled to have Gordie Ernst join the URI Athletics Family as our new Head Women’s Tennis Coach,” [the URI AD] said. “Gordie is highly regarded in the tennis community and has had terrific success throughout his career. I really like the fact that he is a native Rhode Islander looking to continue his career back in his home state.”

And luckily, the AD might have added, no one needs to bribe their way into URI, so we’re safe.

Gordie weighed in too.

 Throughout my life as a student-athlete and coach, I have had the good fortune to meet many great people and travel the world. While this has been hugely fulfilling, my heart has always remained in Rhode Island. I was born and raised in Rhode Island, my mother is the ultimate Rhode Island sports mom and enthusiast. My late father left huge shoes for me to fill as an inductee into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.

I’m gonna bet dad’s gazing down from heaven right now, eyes aglimmer, saying You little shit. I told you to stop stealing.

You could get whiplash…

… following all the different dirt being kicked up in the Philip Esformes trial (earlier posts about the pious Esformes family here). Paying off all of Miami to help him run his rotten to the core nursing homes! Telling one of his comrades in crime to kill himself so as not to have to testify against him! Hiding frail baffled old people when his paid-off tipsters told him an inspection was about to happen! Giving Penn State’s basketball coach three hundred thousand dollars to lie and say Esformes Jr was so talented at the game he should be admitted to the school!

Jerome Allen, while awaiting sentencing for taking bribes, took the stand in the Esformes trial yesterday.

Allen said that the son was not qualified to play varsity basketball at Penn. He said he lied to the prestigious university about the son’s qualifications because he had been bribed by Esformes during a series of trips to Miami in 2013. He testified that the father gave him $10,000 in cash each time, the money tucked into a brown envelope stuffed inside a plastic bag, during their meetings in the lobby of the Fontainebleau Hotel… In total, Esformes paid Allen about $75,000 in cash bribes and an additional $220,000 in wire transfers into the coach’s bank account between 2013 and 2015.

Esformes’ lawyer said

Esformes’ son has maintained a nearly 3.6 GPA at UPenn, made the Dean’s List at Penn and plans to graduate from the Wharton School with the class of 2019.

But he failed to mention who Esformes has been paying to take the kid’s courses.



Some People Just Can’t Follow Rules.

Whether it’s an inability to follow Medicare/Medicaid rules, landing him in court for this country’s largest healthcare fraud trial, or an inability to follow the rules of the court that’s trying him (behavior that angered the judge and got his mother and one of his lawyers banned from the room and indeed from the building), it’s amazing to watch the weird ways of incorrigibly sociopathic Philip Esformes. The man who bribed U Penn’s basketball coach (who goes to prison soon) to get his son on the team appears actually incapable of licit activity; whatever is it, it’s got to be illicit.

Doesn’t matter how petty it is, either. From Law 360:

Miami nursing home mogul Philip Esformes’ mother, who previously had been warned by the judge about communicating with her son during his $1 billion health care fraud trial, was thrown out of the courtroom Tuesday after she was caught receiving a note from her son.

Just after a mid-morning break in testimony and before the jurors were let back into the Florida federal courtroom, U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. said someone had seen an attorney pass along a note from Esformes to his mother despite a warning earlier in the trial that this would not be allowed.

“We’ve already had problems from this,” the judge said. “Mrs. Esformes is excluded from the courtroom and the courthouse.”

The stunned woman, who has sat in the audience for most of the trial, was then escorted by the bailiff out of the courtroom.

Stunned. You can see where Phil gets his ideas about rules.

Hiding Miss Daisy

To cover up the scheme, … Esformes ordered his deputies to bribe Florida regulators to get advanced warnings of their inspections and would physically hide patients who didn’t qualify for government-funded care before inspectors arrived.

!!!!!!!

All good writers know never to use exclamation marks! I mean, almost never!

But UD has stumbled over a piece in the U Penn newspaper which demands exclamation marks. She will now quote some of the piece and insert the quotation marks its content demands.

In the wake of the admissions bribery scandal! involving former Penn men’s basketball star and coach Jerome Allen, Penn Dean of Admissions Eric Furda is saying that safeguards need to be put in place in both the athletics and admissions departments.

On Oct. 5, Allen, who is currently an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics, pleaded guilty to bribery in connection to the recruitment of a student athlete – now Wharton senior Morris Esformes – to gain him admission to the University. Allen had been implicated in an indictment of businessman Philip Esformes, who had allegedly defrauded the federal government of $1 billion!!! and had used some of that money to bribe Allen and help Morris get into Penn.

… Furda suggested new professional development and training for staffers in both departments to prevent future incidents of bribery!!!!

[So a guy comes at you with tens of thousands of dollars, private luxury jet trips on his dime, and anything else you want, and says in exchange for this I want my kid who can’t play competitive basketball to get a basketball scholarship and thereby admission to your school. Slowly, now. Think it through. Is this RIGHT or WRONG?]

… [Morris] Esformes was accepted to Penn in 2015 as a member of Allen’s final recruiting class before Allen was replaced by current coach Steve Donahue. Esformes never played or appeared !!!!! on the men’s basketball team’s roster.

Well, that’s refreshing.

Instead of lying through his teeth about it forever, Jerome Allen has decided to admit that he took mucho money and goodies from stinky Philip Esformes to lie about the basketball skills of stinky’s son so the son could get admitted to U Penn. Once safely at Penn, the kid’s lack of basketball skills immediately rendered him useless to the team; but meanwhile, there he was, at Penn.

He’s a senior now, and, the story of his fraudulent admission having broken, is maybe embarrassed. But when your father’s about to go on trial for the largest welfare fraud in history, his having bought your admission to college probably doesn’t loom that large.

*************

Penn’s own coverage worries about “a confirmed instance where bribery benefitted a student’s admission into the University.”

‘Billion dollar Medicare fraud. Jesus. The number of lives that were ruined due to that much fraud is horrifying.’

A commenter at Deadspin gets to the heart of what matters in the University of Pennsylvania bribery story.

The University of Miami continues to this day to proudly take … well, dirty hardly does as an adjective for Esformes money, does it?

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