The Chief Executive Officer for Universal Health Care Friday denied any wrongdoing, as federal agents spent a second day seizing evidence from the company's St. Petersburg headquarters as part of a fraud investigation.
A day earlier, Universal Health Care found itself at the center of a raid by agents with the FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General.
According to the affidavit that led to the raid, the company is accused of creating false or misleading statements to make it appear as if it was in a better financial position than it was.
"The company has and is continuing to behave in an ethical and legal fashion," CEO Dr. Akshay Desai told Fox 13 News over the phone. "I have worked to build this company from the ground up for the last 12 years. We have created 1,200 jobs and provided services in 20 states. It's unfortunate that this is the ending."
Employees said there between 35 and 40 workers on hand Friday to handle questions from policyholders. The company notified all 800 workers Wednesday they were being laid off at the end of the week.
Dr. Desai said he feels bad for his employees and his customers.
"We have always provided hassle-free health care to members and taken care of our employees," he said. "It's a shock and it's very disappointing."
Several workers, however, said they weren't buying their boss's contrition.
"I want to give him the benefit of the doubt but it's really hard," said Paul Dworkin, who has worked for Universal for more than three years, adding Dr. Desai had constantly told employees how much he cared for them and their well-being. "It was all a big lie."
Employees said they aren't receiving any severance package or money owed for personal time.
"If he really was sincerely upset, then he would ensure that his employees were taken care of up until the end," said Melissa Goodloe.
Policyholders have until Monday to choose a new insurer, otherwise they will be forced to stay with Medicare for at least a month.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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