Thad Bereday is a returning citizen who works as an advocate for criminal justice reform. Previously, Bereday was a corporate transactional lawyer at several large global law firms. In 2002, Bereday became in-house general counsel for WellCare Health Plans, a health insurance company based in Tampa, Florida.
WellCare was targeted by the federal government and raided by 200 federal agents in 2007. Following a lengthy investigation, Bereday and four other executives were eventually indicted. They pled not guilty and were scheduled for a high-publicity trial, but this was delayed in Thad’s case by the onset of leukemia. Almost ten years after the raid, facing the risks of trial, Bereday accepted a plea bargain and was sentenced to six months in federal prison followed by a year of home confinement. As a result of the criminal proceedings, Bereday lost his job, law license, health, freedom and family. In January 2021, along with the other WellCare executives, Bereday received a presidential pardon, and the White House described the prosecution as “a case study in overcriminalization.”
Today, Bereday works with advocacy groups, grassroots organizations, legislators and stakeholders to advocate for greater fairness, compassion, and mercy within the criminal legal system. Thad will help Fair Trials ensure that the voices of impacted people inform our policies and campaigns.