Thursday, September 29, 2005

Frist Goes Formal

From the New York Times:

Federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating the sale of HCA stock by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., whose family founded the company. HCA is the nation’s largest for-profit health care chain.

On June 14, the day after Frist ordered his shares sold, HCA officers at a Goldman Sachs health care conference in Laguna Niguel, Calif., spoke optimistically about the company’s prospects.


HCA shares peaked about a week later, closing at $58.40 on June 22. On July 13, they tumbled 9 percent following the company’s announcement that it would not meet earnings expectations.


Frist’s staff discussed selling all remaining HCA stock in April, as well as that of his wife and children, Frist said. The sales, ordered on June 13, were completed by July 1.

Frist said he sold the shares to eliminate the appearance of a conflict of interest, using only information that was publicly available. The SEC has formalized its investigation of the majority leader, granting subpoena powers to investigators to obtain information and documents.

Well, look on the bright side. At least Sen. Frist has not been linked to Jack Abramoff.