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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Why should a little fraud mess up a state contract?

Howard Troxler: Suppose you had a contract with a guy to work on your house, and you found out he was taking advantage of you. Maybe he was overcharging, or billing for work he didn't do, or knowingly taking more money than he should.

So you confront him, and the guy says: "Hey, mistakes were made. But I've changed. Let's put it behind us.I'll even give you part of the money back."

I know what I'd say. You?

But forget this little example. Instead, let's say we were talking about hundreds of millions of dollars stolen from the public …

Well, then! Ho-hum. This week, we learned that Tampa-based WellCare Health Care Plans Inc. has agreed to pay $137.5 million to the feds to settle charges that it overcharged for its Medicare and Medicaid programs. WellCare was already in trouble. Last year, the company agreed to pay $80 million to settle a charge of conspiracy to defraud Florida's Medicaid and Healthy Kids program....

(More here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:45am]


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