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Taxpayer Fraud Whistleblower Says If you Commit Fraud, Pay The Money Back. DOJ and The Florida AG Disagree

October 6, 2010

Fraudsters Keep Getting Caught, But There Never Seems to Be Any Consequences

Now DOJ and the Florida AG wants to let Wellcare and its officers and directors off at a fraction of the fraud they committed where the fine doesn’t even equal the fraud much less punish the fraudsters.

Is it no wonder fraud is rampant DOJ and AGs are selling taxpayers short.

When a company can make more money defrauding the taxpayer, and will not even be fined the amount of the fraud — and there are no personal consequences — is there any wonder fraud and corruption is rampant.

If the DOJ and the AGs are not willing to enforce consequences to stop behavior because of personal and/or political interests, but someone in charge that will.  Otherwise, why bother going after the criminals at all.

The below is an excerpt from

The Law offices of Cohen, Foster & Romine announce its public challenge to the Florida Supreme Court to disqualify Attorney General Bill McCollum (right) from the Medicaid fraud settlement with Wellcare due to conflict of interests and questionable political activities.

Most of you are familiar with the matter of Wellcare’s theft of hundreds of millions of dollars from the Florida’s Medicaid Fund.  As you know, Wellcare’s fraud was exposed through the efforts of my client, Sean Hellein, who provided the FBI and Justice department with the documentation and proff necessary to expose Wellcare and its officers and directors and provided the basis for a federal False Claims Act suit on behalf of the US Government against Wellcare.

The public import of this matter, however, reaches far deeper than one company’s fraud and theft – massive though it is.

The systematic raiding of the State’s Medicaid funds on such an enormous scale could not have occurred without the knowledge and help of certain public officials.  We have learned the Wellcare’s graft and corruption was accomplished via a state government system of personal political favors, legislative quit pro quo and legalized bribery so extensive that is has permeated the entire system of legal and legislative process, thereby placing Florida taxpayers at immediate risk of losing their rights to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen Medicaid funds without so much as a word from the state’s chief law enforcement officer or any other state government official.

The basis for this unprecedented action is our uncovering of McCollum’s financial connections to Wellcare and the employment of a political quid pro quo by McCollum and other legislators to such an extent that it has created an inherent conflict of interest and answers the questions regarding McCollum’s inexplicable failure to initiate any action whatsoever on behalf of the taxpayers to even determine how much money Wellcare actually stole from the State, as well as his willful blindness to critical healthcare legislationwhich would cost the taxpayers additional hundreds of millions of dollars.

Political favors are certainly nothing new.  But the petition we have filed with the Florida Supreme court exposes legal bribery in the name of campaign contributions that is staggering in both its scope and potential cost.  We have invited the Court to address this climate of corruption disguised as political contributions in addition to requesting disqualification of Attorney General McCollum.

Consistent with out strong feelings about the public’s right to know and the historical purpose of our First Amendment, we urge the press to hear the details of this landmark legal action at the offices of Cohen, Foster & Romine, 201 E. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 1000, Tampa Florida, 336o2 at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 5, 2010.

This is not limited to the State of Florida as WellCare operates in:

One Comment
  1. Blatant Bribes permalink

    The 101 Dumbest Moments In Business 2003 EDITION Whiffed pitch No. 6: blatant stereotyping. By Mark Athitakis April 1, 2003 (Business 2.0)– GRAND PRIZE WINNER, DUMBEST MOMENT OF 2002 In September, insurance company AmeriChoice brings trucks to blighted neighborhoods in New York City and gives away coupons for free chickens as an incentive for the underprivileged to switch their Medicare coverage. New York state senator Carl Kruger files a complaint with the state attorney general. The 101 Dumbest Moments In Business 2003 EDITION –

    2009 2010
    Philadelphia PA Mayor Nutter received two years in a row $60,000 in checks to help keep open and operate the city swimming polls. These checks came from AmeriChoice Health and on the surface seems like fine gifts. Yet,they are Bribes non the less, these checks come from a company who receives all its money from the Federal State Governments as a vendor for Medicare Medicaid services is not allowed to offer bribes inducements,kickbacks and money gifts of any kind in order to promote its share of the market place. This is also not allowed as a use of your taxpayers dollars, yes it happens. Americhoice Health has a long history of corruption Yet,it seems to be protected by those who are responsible to over see their actions why is that? Sorry must apologize just received a notice that AmeriChoice Health was under the impression they thought they were suppose to have started their very own stimulus and economic program package and the one they implemented, they had no idea it violated the Stark,Health and Kickbacks laws.

    Among its provisions, the anti-kickback statute penalizes anyone who knowingly and willfully solicits, receives, offers or pays remuneration in cash or in kind to induce, or in return for: A. Referring an individual to a person for the furnishing, or arranging for the furnishing, of any item or service payable under the Medicare or Medicaid program; or B. Purchasing, leasing or ordering , or arranging for or recommending purchasing, leasing or ordering, any goods, facility, service or item payable under the Medicare or Medicaid program. Violators are subject to criminal penalties, or exclusion from participation in the Medicare and Medicaid rograms, or both. A violation of the anti-kickback law is a felony offense that carries criminal fines of up to $25,000 per violation, imprisonment for up to five years and exclusion from government health care programs.The federal anti-kickback statute, 42 U.S.C.§ 1320a-7b(b), prohibits individuals or entities from knowingly and willfully offering, paying, soliciting or receiving remuneration to induce referrals of items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid or any other federally funded program.

    Since all Ameri-Choice checks come from the United Health’s home office they should be held equally responsible for any bribes, kickbacks, Stark, Fraud and inducements violations that may have occured. Federal and State Governments have developed such a depended position with this company, guess the laws and rules no longer apply for them. Protected vendor status sure, politics sure, limited government budgets sure, Federal and State officals looking the other way sure, and rather then stop these activities a strong desire not to rock the boat exists. The Government created this monster and now they don’t know what to do about it, like shooting yourself in your own foot etc. Tons of money to advance their national growth, its market positions, tons of money for political donations, tons of money to send 75 millon back to its home office from New York state alone, tons of money to suppot National TV shows, tons of money to pay hugh State fines, tons of money to hire the very best law firms, tons of money for hugh salarys and bonuses, all done on the back of the American taxpayor, you see this company receives all its money from the Federal State governments.

    PS In New Jersey Licensed Agents were fired for refusal to deliver bribe checks.

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