Visalia Times Delta
The central figure in the biggest public corruption prosecution case in Tulare County’s history was taken into custody after returning on a flight to the U.S. from the Philippines, according to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.
Dr. Yorai “Benny” Benzeevi is under indictment on a long list of felony and misdemeanor criminal counts. The man who once ran Tulare Regional Medical Center was taken in chains from a Los Angeles bound flight Thursday and later released on $4 million bail, the DA’s office said.
Benzeevi is facing in excess of four decades in prison for multiple combined felony and misdemeanor criminal counts, including suspicion of embezzlement, conspiracy, money laundering, grand theft, and campaign finance violations as CEO of Healthcare Conglomerate Associates (HCCA) during the company’s controversial administration of Tulare’s public hospital.
He surrendered in Manilla after his lawyers, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, and federal officials at the American Embassy in the Philippines agreed on his self-deportation back to the United States.
The fall from grace of the emergency room doctor to corporate CEO who once compared himself to Henry Ford was stark as he left the airport with his arms shackled to his waist while wearing a mask and face shield as protection from COVID-19.