President Trump has granted a full pardon to Alfonso Costa, a dentist from Pittsburgh, who pled guilty to one count of healthcare fraud related to false billing in 2007. According to the White House, Costa took full responsibility for his conduct, served two years of probation, and paid nearly $300,000 in fines and restitution.
Also, the White House noted that Costa has devoted much of his adult life to serving his community, including serving on the board of the Pittsburgh Opera and providing services for children and the underprivileged.
Costa’s request for clemency was supported by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson, and former NFL football player Jerome Bettis, and numerous business associates, patients, and community leaders from Pittsburgh, the White House said.
Costa, who had dental offices in Oakland and Murrysville, Pennsylvania, had pled guilty to filing inflated insurance claims from 1996 to 2001, reports the Murrysville Star. A three-year federal probation sentence was reduced to two years because he performed more than 400 hours of community service with the Carson Scholars Fund.
“Al Costa is my best friend,” Carson told the Tribune-Review in 2015. Carson also had testified on Costa’s behalf when the dentist was sentenced in federal court in 2008, and Costa and Carson have been business partners as well, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.