Plea deal reached for executive blamed for deceiving desperate people

Tim Thomas and his wife Keenan enter the U.S. Courthouse in Nashville in 2014.

Federal court records show the former CEO of a company shut down the Federal Trade Commission for scamming the sick and uninsured has reached a plea deal with prosecutors in his own criminal case.

Court records show Tim Thomas, charged with criminal contempt, wire fraud and money laundering, will enter a plea on March 7.

The plea deal is the latest development in a News 4 I-Team investigation that began in 2009.

The News 4 I-Team began to investigate UBA in 2009 when we worked with current and former employees to record hidden camera video of Thomas' employees training workers to lie to uninsured customers by using the so-called "TAFT method."

One employee can be heard describing TAFT as "Tell them [customers] any f------ thing."

UBA's customers, many of whom were suffering from cancer or AIDS, needed health insurance and thought that's what they were buying, but instead they were getting medical discount cards that barely paid expenses.

After our investigations aired, the FTC and the Tennessee Attorney General's Office shut down UBA and sued, stating in the lawsuit that Tim Thomas' company deceived consumers and bilked them out of millions of dollars.

"What makes this especially appalling is that it put people's lives in danger," said Olha Rybakoff, senior counsel for the state attorney general's office, in 2010.

Our investigation found even though Tim Thomas was ordered in 2011 by the FTC to liquidate more than $1 million of his assets to pay back his former customers, he later returned to a life of luxury, including living in a home in the Brentwood Country Club and posing with women in front of a private plane.

In 2014, Tim Thomas and his wife, Keenan, were indicted on federal charges.

Keenan Thomas entered a plea deal in 2016, admitting to criminal contempt.

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Chief Investigative Reporter

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