Washington Babylon — October 25, 2007, 6:02 pm

Alert: A mega-scandal in the making

There’s a new scandal unraveling that has a great cast of characters and sounds like it should be fun to watch unravel. Here’s what’s up:

  • Yesterday, the Feds raided WellCare, a fast-growing Florida health care firm which has a Cayman Islands subsidiary and whose “independent sales agents in Georgia enrolled dead people in Medicare plans.”
  • WellCare is owned by a NYC-based investment fund headed by George Soros (The Soros firm held its stake until last year, when it sold).
  • The firm is a major donor to the GOP and two of its top executives, David Hart and Todd Farha, are Bush fundraising Pioneers. WellCare has also hosted several big fundraisers for Florida Senator Mel Martinez.
  • WellCare operates a pilot program in Florida authorized by a rather curious federal waiver. Furthermore, WellCare was named as one of the first eight companies named to provide “prescription drug coverage under the new Medicare drug benefit.”
  • Current corporate board members include former Senator Bob Graham. Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, a former board member, had previously headed the Florida agency that oversees Medicaid. “For his six months service on WellCare’s board,” wrote The St. Petersburg Times, “Agwunobi received stock, which he sold for more than $1 million.” Agwunobi now is at the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. He released a statement today saying his agency is carefully monitoring the situation with WellCare.
  • In the aftermath of the raid, WellCare’s stock has fallen through the floor. “Some WellCare insiders managed to escape that crash,” TheStreet.com reports. “Director Neal Moszkowski executed the most recent transaction, selling more than $1 million worth of stock four days before the raid. Meanwhile, WellCare CEO Todd Farha has been unloading company stock for months. He executed his last big transaction, which generated more than $1 million as well, just two weeks ago.”

Enjoy–and spend some time on Google, because there’s plenty of low-hanging fruit still to be picked.

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