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Ben Carson’s “very closest friend” is a convicted felon who defrauded some health insurance companies.

How close are Carson and Alfonso A. Costa? “Next to my wife of 32 years, there is no one on this planet that I trust more than Al Costa,” Carson said at Costa’s 2008 sentencing hearing for charging his dental patients for $40,000 worth of procedures that were never actually performed. “I will confirm they are best friends and that they do hold business investments together,” said Doug Watts, Carson’s campaign manager. “Investments Carson and his wife made through Costa earn[ed] the couple between $200,000 and $2 million a year” before Costa’s conviction, the AP reports

Incidentally, Carson has previously written that those convicted of health insurance fraud should get at least 10 years in jail, what he called the “Saudi Arabia Solution” to fighting medical crimes. Costa, thanks to testimonials from Carson and others, was sentenced to one year of house arrest and community service.