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Former WellCare General Counsel Sentenced To 6 Months

The former general counsel for WellCare was sentenced to six months in federal prison for making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid Program.

Thaddeus N.S. Bereday, 52, of Tampa, also must serve a three-year term of supervised release that includes one year of home confinement, U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. ruled. The court also ordered Bereday to pay a $50,000 fine.

Bereday pleaded guilty on June 26, 2017.

A federal grand jury in the Middle District of Florida returned an indictment on March 2, 2011, charging five former WellCare Health Plans, Inc., employees, including Bereday,  with four counts of healthcare fraud, four counts of making false statements relating to healthcare matters, and conspiracy to commit those crimes and defraud the United States, court documents show. 

The fraud counts alleged that Bereday and his co-defendants —  Todd S. Farha, Paul L. Behrens, William L. Kale and Peter E. Clay — had executed and attempted to execute both a scheme to defraud the Florida Medicaid Program through Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, and a scheme to obtain, by means of false and fraudulent pretenses and representations, money under the custody or control of the program.

A federal jury found Bereday’s co-defendants guilty on June 10, 2013. In May 2014, Moody sentenced Farha to 36 months in prison; Behrens to 24 months’ imprisonment; and Kale to 1 year and 1 day in prison. Clay was sentenced to serve five years of probation. The defendants appealed their convictions, which were all affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit in August 2016.

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Health News Florida is now part of WUSF Public Media in Tampa, Florida.
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