The former general counsel at Tampa-based insurer WellCare Health Plans Inc. has been sentenced to six months in federal prison for his role in a scheme to defraud the Florida Medicaid program.

Thaddeus Bereday, 52, was sentenced on Nov. 22 after pleading guilty in June to one count of making a false statement. He faced up to five years in prison when U.S. District Judge James Moody in Tampa sentenced him, but, thanks to his cooperative plea deal, the U.S. Department of Justice had said it would seek to lower the sentence at last week’s hearing.

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