St. Petersburg Times, March 4, 2011
Four years after an FBI raid brought to light accusations of Medicaid fraud at WellCare, a federal grand jury indicted five of the company's former executives, authorities announced this week. All five men are charged with conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud and making false statements. They include former CEO Todd S. Farha, 42, of Tampa; former general counsel Thaddeus Bereday, 45, of Tampa; and former CFO Paul L. Behrens, 49, of Odessa. The indictment says WellCare, based near Tampa, took Medicaid money from Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration with the understanding that if it did not use 80% of the funds allotted for behavioral health services, the difference was to be returned to the state. But, prosecutors said, WellCare executives conspired to inflate what they actually spent to reduce the amount they had to return. The company paid $80 million in May 2009 and reached a civil settlement with the Department of Justice for $137 million in 2010. But whistle-blowers put profits of the alleged fraud between $400 million and $600 million.