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Philip Esformes attends the 15th annual Harold & Carole Pump Foundation gala at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on August 7, 2015 in Century City, California.

Tiffany Rose | Getty Images

Philip Esformes on Thursday pleaded guilty to health care fraud, resolving the Justice Department’s years-long effort to prosecute the convicted fraudster after then-President Donald Trump commuted his 20-year prison sentence.

Esformes pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, according to filings in federal court in Miami, Florida. The DOJ agreed to drop five other counts against him.

Esformes was sentenced to time served, meaning he will spend no additional time in jail, as part of his plea agreement. The Florida nursing home owner had already served over four years behind bars from his July 2016 arrest through late 2020, when his original sentence was commuted.

He will face no further restrictions or fines.

Trump commuted Esformes’ sentence during his final days in the White House, a period during which he granted dozens of other requests for executive clemency. The commutation canceled Esformes’ prison term, but not his 2019 conviction on 20 criminal counts.

Those charges related to what the Department of Justice called the largest health-care fraud scheme it had ever prosecuted.

Prosecutors said Esformes bribed doctors to put patients into his nursing homes, where they often received inadequate care or were given unnecessary services that were then billed to Medicare and Medicaid.

Esformes personally netted more than $37 million from the years-long scheme, and spent that money on extravagances like luxury cars and a $360,000 watch, according to the DOJ.

A federal prosecutor at the time of his original conviction described Esformes as “a man driven by almost unbounded greed.”

The jury convicted him of 20 criminal counts at trial, but deadlocked on six others. A judge sentenced Esformes to 20 years in prison. Five months after Trump commuted Esformes’ sentence, the DOJ said it would seek to re-try him on those remaining six counts.

The unusual move spurred accusations that the prosecutor’s decision was motivated more by anger over the commutation than it was in the service of justice.

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