The first reports of the raid at healthcare provider WellCare's offices in Tampa, with the FBI swarming into the Board of Directors meeting, seizing their mobile messaging machines and demanding their passwords, suggested that this was no ordinary case and apparently it isn't.
Update: Avram Goldstein of Bloomberg reports on the case:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Questions emerged on Tuesday about transactions between beleaguered WellCare Health Plans Inc (WCG.N) and an offshore entity, further hurting the health insurer's battered stock price.
WellCare, which serves 2.3 million elderly, low-income and other members through government-sponsored programs, has been in a tailspin since more than 200 state and federal agents raided its Florida headquarters last Wednesday. Few details have been made public about the probe.
In a research note on Tuesday, Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Borsch raised questions about whether WellCare used transactions with an offshore entity to cut profit margins in an effort to appear less profitable to officials with influence on reimbursement rates.
Hat tip: Ed Lasky
The FBI and state authorities haven't disclosed the objective of their search of WellCare's offices. Officials from the Connecticut attorney general's office and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also are reviewing the company.
"I am somewhat surprised to see the stock trading where it is,'' said Thomas Carroll, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus & Co. in Baltimore, in a telephone interview today. ``I didn't think it would get this low. The worst-case scenario is that existing contracts are sold off to other competitors, a different management team comes in or someone buys it.''