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.
As such, in legal action never before brought in the State of Florida, we have filed a petition asking the Florida Supreme Court to disqualify Attorney General Ira "Bill" McCollum, Jr. from making any decision concerning the proposed settlement in the Wellcare lawsuit that would have the effect of allowing Wellcare to keep nearly two thirds of the monies it stole from Florida taxpayers.
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: