Owner of California Company Sentenced for Conspiring to Bribe an Alabama Legislator
Montgomery, Alabama – On Tuesday, May 28, 2019, G. Ford Gilbert, 71, of Carmichael, California received a 12-month sentence for conspiring to commit bribery of a state official, announced United States Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr. The judge ordered that the 12-month sentence be served by completing six months of incarceration in federal prison, to be followed by six months of home detention.
Gilbert’s sentencing follows his guilty plea that occurred back in January of this year. Court documents show that Gilbert was the owner of a California-based company that provided a form of diabetes treatment that would not be covered by the state’s largest health care insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama (BCBS-AL). After his attempts to persuade BCBS-AL to cover the treatments were unsuccessful, he developed another plan.
During the 2016 Alabama Legislature session, he conspired with the majority leader of the Alabama House of Representatives at the time, Mickey Ray Hammon, to pass a bill that would have required BCBS-AL to cover the treatments offered by his clinics. Court documents indicate that Hammon used his influence in the House of Representatives to generate support for Gilbert’s bill and was paid $2000.00 by Gilbert to do so. However, the bill failed when it did not advance out of committee.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan S. Ross, Joshua Wendell, and Stephanie C. Billingslea prosecuted the case.