Atlanta-based healthcare company plans to sue its former CEO for millions

Channel 2 Action News has learned that part of the bankruptcy liquidation plan for an Atlanta-based “health care sharing ministry” is to sue the company’s former CEO for millions of dollars.

For more than three years Channel 2 has investigated problems with health care sharing ministry Trinity and the company that administers its health plans, Aliera.

“I gave up. I just gave up,” Mary Lillie said about her medical claim with Aliera.

The medical bills quickly added up to more than $90,000 when Kim and Mary Lillie’s 17-year-old son fell off a golf cart. Trinity and Aliera refused to pay these bills.

“It’s like they’re leaving a wake of destruction behind them and they’re ruining people’s lives,” Kim Lillie said.

The newly proposed liquidation plan for Aliera’s bankruptcy filing shows there are $660 million in unpaid medical claims.

Families like the Lillies are only projected to get 1 to 5 percent of the money they are owed.

Paying medical claims was supposed to be the purpose of Trinity and Aliera.

They are a so-called health care sharing ministry, technically not insurance.

Members pay in and are supposed to share the costs of medical care.

Over the past three years, Channel 2 Investigates has told story after story of families who had their medical claims rejected by Aliera and Trinity and are left with 5 and even 6-figure medical debts.

Aliera was essentially the family business of CEO Shelley Steele.

Now the bankruptcy trustees are targeting Steele in an effort to pay more claims.

Writing in the liquidation plan they “seek to recover certain alleged fraudulent transfer amounts owed on loans from Aliera to Steele”

Eric Breithaupt is an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney who reviewed the liquidation statement.

“You’ve got situations where officers and directors are alleged to have committed bad acts and malfeasance. And, you know, if they’re still collectible, they’re certainly worth going after, Breithaupt said.

Last year we showed you how the bankruptcy filings allege Shelley Steele received a loan from Aliera for more than $6 million that she never paid back.

“I’d want her to look at my son’s face, tell him why you did what you did.” Kim Lillie said.





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