Philip Esformes – Today, President Trump commuted the term of imprisonment of Philip Esformes, while leaving the remaining aspects of his sentence, including supervised release and restitution, intact. This commutation is supported by former Attorneys General Edwin Meese and Michael Mukasey, as well as former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson. In addition, former Attorneys General Edwin Meese, John Ashcroft, and Alberto Gonzalez, as well as other notable legal figures such as Ken Starr, have filed in support of his appeal challenging his conviction on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct related to violating attorney-client privilege.
While in prison, Mr. Esformes, who is 52, has been devoted to prayer and repentance and is in declining health.
Fascinating. Some open questions -- does the appeal continue because he is still on supervised release? Does this apply to the hung count as well or is that still alive? In any event, this is HUGE news in a case that the government touted at the time as the largest health care fraud case in history and one in which he was serving a 20 year sentence.
12/24 UPDATE -- Trump issued more pardons, including for Mary McCarty, Cesar Lozada, and James Batmasian. From the press release:
Mary McCarty — President Trump granted Mary McCarty a full pardon. Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Christopher Ruddy are among those supportive of Ms. McCarty. Ms. McCarty was a longtime public servant in Palm Beach, Florida, serving as one of its County Commissioners. In 2009, she pled guilty to one count of honest services fraud. The Supreme Court has since interpreted that statute more narrowly, meaning that Ms. McCarty’s conduct might not be criminally prosecuted today.
Cesar Lozada — President Trump granted a full pardon to Cesar Lozada. This act of clemency is supported by U.S. Representative-elect Maria Elvira Salazar and members of Mr. Lozada’s community. Mr. Lozada, an immigrant from Cuba, started a small business cleaning and servicing pools in Miami-Dade County. Since then, his business, now a pool equipment company, has grown and employs dozens of people. Today’s pardon addresses a mistake Mr. Lozada made in 2004 of conspiring to distribute marijuana, for which Mr. Lozada took full responsibility, served his sentence of 14 months in prison and 3 years supervised release, and paid a $10,000 fine. Mr. Lozada volunteers on weekends at a charity mission and serves food to the poor.
James Batmasian — President Trump granted a full pardon to James Batmasian. Mr. Batmasian’s pardon is supported by Representative Brian Mast, Alice Johnson, and former Masters Champion Bernhard Langer, among many others from the South Florida community that Mr. Batmasian has done so much to serve through his extensive charitable works.
Mr. Batmasian runs an extensive property management business in South Florida. Over a three-year period from 2001 to 2003, Mr. Batmasian made overtime payments without withholding for income taxes or FICA contributions. While illegal, Mr. Batmasian recorded all of these payments and made no attempt to hide them when confronted by IRS investigators. In 2008, Mr. Batmasian pled guilty to willful failure to collect and remit payroll taxes. Mr. Batmasian accepted full responsibility for his actions, fully repaid the IRS the money he owed, and served his 8-month sentence.