A Miami Beach business executive charged with running a billion-dollar Medicare fraud scheme allegedly bribed then-Quakers head coach and current Celtics assistant Jerome Allen to get his son admitted to the University of Pennsylvania, according to a new indictment reported by the Miami Herald:
In an indictment, Philip Esformes was charged anew on Friday of using proceeds from defrauding the taxpayer-funded Medicare program to pay about $75,000 to Allen, now an assistant with the Boston Celtics, in bank wire transfers, hotel rooms, private jet travel and limo transportation.
Esformes’s alleged bribery appears to have worked, too—his son, Morris Esformes, reportedly “entered the university in the fall of 2015,” but never made the basketball team. 2015 was also the final year for Allen at Penn, who’d been their head coach since 2009—he resigned after a third straight losing season, and joined the Celtics coaching staff as associate head coach under Brad Stevens that July.
Get a load of this extravagance:
[Esformes’s attorney Howard Srebnick] said Philip Esformes hired Allen when his son was a sophomore in high school to help him improve his game, “as many parents do when their kids show athletic promise.”
Many parents certainly do no such thing! Just gonna hire an active Ivy League head coach to work with my shrimpy teenaged kid because he’s pretty good at basketball. And the dollar amounts of these “coaching” payments are eye-popping: $2,000 for a hotel room in Miami; $53,000 in three separate wire transfers; a $19,000 private jet trip; along with assorted limousine rides around Miami and Miami Beach. And all of it funded with money made from allegedly fraudulent Medicare reimbursements.
The Herald report says “it is not clear” whether Allen could face charges related to the bribery case against Esformes. If it really was just a coaching deal to work with a six-foot guard whose basketball career ended after high school, man, that’s a hell of a gig.