Former health care magnate Abraham Gosman, of West Palm Beach and Weston, Mass., who made and lost millions, died in October 2013 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was 84.
With a fortune Forbes magazine estimated at $480 million in 1996, Gosman started three once-lucrative health-care-related public companies.
By 2000 after a series of setbacks tied to stock market losses, a shifting economy, Medicare cutbacks and overbuilding in the health-care industry, his financial empire was crumbling. In 2001 he and his wife Lin Gosman filed for bankruptcy listing assets of $250 million and liabilities of $233.6 million. He converted the case to Chapter 7 liquidation in 2003.
Lin Gosman, who was not mentioned in the family obituary notice, was charged with bankruptcy fraud, mortgage fraud and other charges and in 2009 pled guilty and was sentenced to two years house arrest and one year probation.
In 2003 a judge ruled that the Gosmans were not married for purposes of bankruptcy exemptions. Lin Gosman did not obtain a valid divorce from her second husband before marrying Gosman, the judge found.
In 2004 his Palm Beach home was sold to Donald Trump for $41.4 million. The property was flipped to a Russian fertilizer mogul Dmitry Rybolovlev for $95 million in 2008. After eight years of vacancy, the mansion and its out-buildings were leveled and the property was subdivided into three smaller lots and sold by the company Rybolovlev controlled.
Even before he graduated from the University of New Hampshire, he began his first venture by developing an inexpensive way to attach alligator and lizard skin to shoes, thus, earning him the title of “the largest reptile laminator in the US.”
He moved on to the heath care real estate industry in the 1960’s by purchasing large, rundown mansions and restoring them into nursing homes. By the 1980’s Mr. Gosman took his company, Mediplex, public and in 1985 established a spin-off company, Meditrust, of which he assumed the positions of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.
In 1986 he sold Mediplex to Avon Products for $220 million, while Meditrust continued to grow under his direction. Mediplex struggled under the Avon’s management and in 1990 Mr. Gosman repurchased the company for a mere $42 million. Once again, he turned Mediplex into a profitable company and in 1994 sold Mediplex again to Sun Healthcare for $320 million.
Meditrust purchased health care facilities then leased the facilities back to the original management, thus achieving Meditrust’s main goal of producing and distributing its’ income to shareholders. Meditrust was exempt from corporate income tax since it distributed at least 95% of its taxable income to shareholders.
He was a Fellow of Brandeis University; a Trustee of the Wang Center for the Performing Arts; a Board Member of the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach; a member of the Board of Visitors of Boston University School of Medicine; a Trustee of Boston University, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Recuperative Center Association and Beth Israel Hospital; and a Director of the University of New Hampshire Foundation. In 1992, he was the first United States Naval Institute Commodore to receive the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor.
Mr. Gosman’s son, Andrew is a 1988 graduate of Babson College.