I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
State settles WellCare Health Plans suit for $200 million
A class-action suit against WellCare Health Plans has been settled for $200 million, Attorney General Gary King’s office announced Monday. The State Investment Council (SIC) and Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico (PERA) were plaintiffs in the case, along with teachers’ and police department retirement systems in Louisiana and Chicago, Ill.
WellCare executives misled investors about the firm’s financial condition, according to lawsuits that followed a raid of the company’s offices in Tampa, Florida, by FBI fraud investigators in 2007.
Under the settlement, WellCare agreed to pay a total of $87.5 million in cash and $112.5 million in tradable bonds with a maturity date of December 2016. WellCare also agreed that it would pay plaintiffs 25 percent of any money it requires from former top executives Todd S. Farha, Paul Behrens, and Thaddeus Bereday. A federal judge approved a motion allowing the company to pursue a suit against those individuals, last month.
It is unclear how much of the settlement money will be returned to the SIC and PERA, officials at the SIC and AG’s office said Monday. Attorney fees will be taken from the total settlement.
“Unfortunately, the share funding formula depends upon the total number of potential class members that come forward and submit claims, plus litigation costs and fees,” AG spokesman Phil Sisneros told The Independent. “We are just as anxious (as others) to see how it all shakes out in the end.”
The settlement must still be approved by an United States District Court judge.