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Charges Filed Against WellCare Health Plans, Inc.; WellCare Enters Into Deferred Prosecution Agreement, Agrees to Pay $80 Million in Restitution and Forfeiture
Date:5/5/2009

f these individuals will continue until all those criminally responsible have been brought to justice."

Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said: "Falsely inflating Medicaid costs and taking taxpayers' dollars fraudulently jeopardizes the solvency of our federal health care programs. Today's announcement is the culmination of work by literally hundreds of state and federal law enforcement officials and should serve as a clear warning that those who steal from Medicaid will be aggressively pursued and brought to justice."

Other Investigations Arising Out of the Investigation of WellCare

The public filing of the information and the DPA is the latest development in an ongoing investigation by the FBI, the HHS-OIG, and the MFCU. The investigation continues against those former employees and executives of WellCare who are responsible for the conduct alleged in the informations filed against WellCare and Gregory West. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jay G. Trezevant and Anthony E. Porcelli have and will continue to serve as the key prosecutors throughout the investigation of WellCare and its former employees and executives.

In October 2008, the U.S. Attorney previously announced the unsealing of an information and plea agreement for Gregory West (age 50, of Tampa), a former WellCare employee. West had pleaded guilty in December 2007 to conspiracy to defraud the Florida Medicaid program of more than $20,000,000. West faces maximum penalties of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. At the government's request, West's sentencing hearing has been postponed. A status conference is scheduled for Oct. 8, 2009.

As the information's allegations against WellCare reveal, the ongoing investigation does not directly concern WellCare's delivery of health care services to any person.


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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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