LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A former sales manager for Humana pleaded guilty Wednesday to taking more than $2 million in bribes from a South Carolina company to steer insurance brokers their way.
James Albert Wegner Jr., 48, of New Port Richie, Fla., admitted to a role in a scheme to cut out other insurance brokers and steer Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug plans to Cutler & Associates of Columbia, S.C., in exchange for cash. A second former sales manager for Humana, Glenn Fine, has also been charged.
Fine has no listed attorney in court records. He is scheduled for arraignment Feb. 19 in federal court in Louisville.
Two other men, Cutler & Associates President Shep Cutler, 73, and a business associate, Dan McNerney, were named as participants in the plan in Wegner's plea agreement. Neither has been charged.
A message left for Shep Cutler was not immediately returned Wednesday. Attempts to reach McNerney through his Missouri-based business, Columbia Management Associates, were not successful.
Prosecutors say Wegner and Fine were supposed to refer insurance brokers and agents, known as Group Producing Agents or GPAs, to Managing General Agencies, known as MGAs. The MGAs would contract with Humana to service the GPAs in selling Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug plans to Medicare enrollees.
Cutler & Associates was one of the largest MGAs to contract with Humana. Prosecutors said that between February 2006 and at least June 2010, Cutler & Associates issued checks totaling more than $2 million to an account held by Coastal Consulting in Louisville, Ky. The business shared an address with Fine's home.
During the same time frame, prosecutors said, Cutler & Associates issued the same amount in checks to a business called Suncoast Marketing in New Port Richey. Suncoast Marketing's address shared an address with Wegner's home.
Prosecutors noted that the only funds deposited in the accounts for Suncoast Marketing and Coastal Consulting were from Cutler & Associates. Money was transferred out of each account to other accounts owned by Fine and Wegner, prosecutors said.