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Press Release

Deputy Attorney General Recognizes Middle District Of Florida Employees

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

WASHINGTON – Acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announced today that Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jay Trezevant, Cherie Krigsman, Charles Harden, Karin Hoppmann, and Jason Mehta, along with Legal Administrative Specialist Gina Wetherald, Senior Civil Investigator Charles Burnette, and retired Supervisory Legal Administration Specialist Madeline Tejera, were among the 179 members of the Department of Justice recognized by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) Director Monty Wilkinson, at the 33rd Director’s Awards Ceremony today in Washington D.C.


The Middle District of Florida (MDFL) was one of 35 districts represented at the ceremony which was held in the Great Hall at the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building.


In his prepared remarks, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein told the awardees: “These 179 award recipients embody the best of the Department of Justice.… Today’s honorees have earned the esteem of their colleagues. But most importantly, you have earned the gratitude of your fellow citizens — whose communities you have made safer, whose lives you have improved, and whose trust you have rewarded.”


“We very much appreciate that the Department of Justice has recognized the outstanding achievements of these prosecutors and staff from our office,” said Acting United States Attorney Stephen Muldrow. “These cases are excellent examples of the fine work being done by the many hard-working and dedicated employees of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. While their efforts often go unnoticed, these public servants work tirelessly to make our communities safer and defend the interests of the American people.”


The MDFL was recognized for its highly successful litigation of several healthcare fraud cases. The first involves WellCare Health Plans, Inc., a publicly traded managed-care company, and several of its top executives, including the CEO and CFO. In both civil and criminal cases, the litigation team mastered an extraordinary volume of evidence to lay bare a sophisticated scheme designed to enable the company to unlawfully retain millions of dollars of Medicaid funds that it falsely claimed had been spent on behavioral-health services. In May 2009, WellCare entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Florida Attorney General’s Office, which imposed strict compliance measures on the company and required it to repay $40 million in restitution and $40 million in civil forfeiture. After two years of fierce pretrial litigation, the criminal case against four defendants went to trial in February 2013. On June 10, 2013, the jury found all four defendants guilty of fraud and making false statements. The district court subsequently imposed sentences of imprisonment for three of the individuals and their convictions were affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit in August 2016. This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jay Trezevant and Cherie Krigsman, with assistance from Supervisory Legal Administrative Specialist Madeline Tejera and Legal Administrative Assistant Gina Wetherald. AUSA Karin Hoppmann handled the appeal.


As the civil investigation into WellCare, Inc. continued, the defendant invoked its inability to pay, and negotiations commenced that eventually led to a settlement of all qui tam claims for $137.5 million. The relator’s objection to the settlement amount was successfully concluded in 2012. The Court upheld the settlement, which has been paid in full. AUSA Charles Harden handled the settlement, with assistance from Senior Civil Investigator Charles Burnette.


Additional members of the WellCare litigatve team that were recognized today are: Department of Justice trial attorneys Allie Pang (Civil Division) and John A. Michelich (Criminal Division); John J. Bowers from the Securities and Exchange Commission; Kyle R. Ford and Isaac M. Bledsoe from the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; and Eduardo Ortega, Susana Mapu, and Kevin J. DiQuattro from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


In addition, as part of the MDFL’s effort to combat compounding pharmacy fraud, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Mehta was recognized for spearheading 17 separate civil investigations that concluded with settlements of more than $59.8 million, in just 18 months. These investigations uncovered a complex web of fraudulent practices involving pharmacies paying marketers exorbitant commissions in exchange for prescriptions written by physicians for pain and scar creams. These prescriptions cost the TRICARE program as much as $10,000 per tube. AUSA Mehta has subsequently provided assistance and training to other districts during similar investigations.


EOUSA provides oversight, general executive assistance, and direction to the 94 United States Attorneys’ offices around the country. For more information on EOUSA and its mission, visit


Please visit our photo gallery to view images from the event.

Updated June 19, 2017

Health Care Fraud