Whistleblower in WellCare Fraud Case Seeks to Bar Florida Attorney General in Lawsuit

The whistleblower in a case against Tampa, Fla.-based WellCare Health Plans is petitioning to bar Florida's Attorney General Bill McCollum from participating in the multimillion-dollar healthcare fraud settlement, according to a BusinessWeek news report.

WellCare has agreed to pay $137.5 million to the federal government to settle allegations it had violated the False Claims Act, and although the final settlement agreement lies with the federal government, the state attorney general must also agree to it, according to the report.

Sean Hellein, who formerly worked for WellCare as a financial analyst and is the whistleblower behind the case against the company, has filed a petition with the Florida Supreme Court to bar Attorney General McCollum because he received approximately $60,000 in campaign contributions from WellCare, according to the report.

A spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida, which Attorney General McCollum is a part of, said the allegations deeming Attorney General McCollum unfit in settlement talks were "absurd."

"The RPOF simply does not earmark contributions nor would a contribution cause a GOP leader to turn a blind eye to a potential crime," he said.

Read the BusinessWeek news report about the petition to bar AG McCollum from WellCare settlement talks.

Read more coverage about WellCare:

- DOJ Investigates Allegations Florida Health System Assisted WellCare in Medicaid Fraud

- WellCare Settles Government Investigation, Class Action Suit Related to Fraudulent Billing

- WellCare Whistleblower Suit Unsealed as Tampa U.S. Attorney's Office Moves Toward Settlement

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