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Former WellCare Execs Found Guilty

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
WellCare Health Plans
The Florida Channel
Former WellCare CEO Todd Farha was among five executive of the company convicted.

Just when it seemed the trial against four former WellCare Health Plans executives might never end, the jury on Monday returned a verdict that found each of them guilty on at least some of the charges, the Tampa Bay Times reported. 

Former CEO Todd Farha, CFO Paul Behrens, and VP William Kale were each found guilty on two counts of submitting false reports to the Florida Medicaid program. Former VP Peter E. Clay was found guilty of making false statements to federal agents.

Each of the four was found not guilty on some of the charges for which they were originally indicted in March 2011. U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. declared a mistrial for some charges on which jurors failed to reach agreement.

The trial lasted more than three months,  and the jury deliberations took more than three weeks. Two jurors were moved to alternate status for falling asleep during testimony, which dealt with arcane matters of health-care financing and accounting.

The former executives were accused of creating a mental-health subsidiary that served as a kind of slush fund to make it appear the company was spending more for the care of its members than it actually was.

The charade took place between 2003 and 2007, according to officials. The company itself was first to be charged in the case. As Health News Florida reported in February 2012, it settled federal charges for $137.5 million.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.