Weathly Miami Beach businessman Philip Esformes is facing two big scandals at once, he is accused of committing Medicare fraud and approaching ivy league coaches with hefty bribes.
The $1 billion dollar Medicare fraud trial comes just two days after the college admissions scandal broke.
According to testimony in the medicare fraud case, Esformes reached out to William Rick Singer, the head of a college consulting business accused of accepting $25 million in bribery "fees." He allegedly texted Singer to ask about his son’s chances of getting into Penn with a certain SAT score and whether he would have a better shot as a student-athlete.
Esformes allegedly also approached Penn’s varsity basketball coach Jerome Allen in May 2013 about placing his son on his short list of recruits in exchange for $300,000. In February 2014, Esformes' lawyer claims his client was not involved in bribing anyone because his son is qualified to get into Penn on his own academic and athletic talent.
A total of 50 people were charged in what is being called Operation Varsity Blues. Federal authorities call it the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department, with the parents accused of dishing out over $25 million in bribes.