Former state worker pleads guilty to stealing from flex insurance program
Posted October 28, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — A Raleigh man who headed the flex insurance programs for North Carolina state workers pleaded guilty on Friday to taking more than $440,000 from the program for his own use.
Chakrapani Tadameti, 67, of Tecumseh Court, was sentenced to 51 to 74 months in prison after he agreed to a plea deal and paid back $250,000 of the money he took. Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens said Tadameti would be considered for work release once he pays back another $195,000.
Tademeti, who retired in March after 20 years with the Office of State Human Resources, managed the NCFlex program that allows state workers to make tax-free contributions to accounts that they can then use to pay medical and child care expenses during the year.
Indictments in 2015 alleged that between Aug. 31, 2012, and Feb. 28, 2015, Tadameti obtained reimbursement for nearly $400,000 that he reported spending on conference sponsorships, program advertisements and other services but never actually spent.
Instead, he took that money for his own use, prosecutors said Friday.
Former OSHR Director Neal Alexander said that an internal review in April 2015 of a communications account managed by Tademeti that served several benefit plans raised concerns about possible misuse of funds.
Stephens on Friday questioned how Tadameti was able to take money without any oversight from supervisors or the state.
"Unfortunately for this defendant and fortunately for the NC Flex program, he retired in 2015. Otherwise, today, he would still be there, and today he would still be taking money, I suspect," Stephens said.