Friday, September 23, 2005

Frist in Potential Hot Water

Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist, could find himself in hot water for selling all of his stock in his families hospital corporation two weeks before the price plummeted. While, I will give him the benefit of the doubt at this time, the appearance of impropriety is definitely exists. Frist called his broker and asked him to sell all of his holdings that were held in a blind trust. Of course, if Frist can continue to direct the selling of stock in a blind trust, you have to ask how blind is a blind trust.

Frist has not been accused of any wrong doing at this time by any government officials, and there are probably many ligitimate reasons for his actions, but for a man who is potentially seeking the presidency, this is not a good first step in the wake of so many other stock scandals.

Frist Sold Stock Along With HCA Insiders
By JONATHAN M. KATZ, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - When Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist asked a trustee to sell all his stock in his family's hospital corporation, a large-scale sell-off by HCA Inc. insiders was under way.

Shares of the Nashville, Tenn.-based hospital company were near a 52-week peak in June when Frist and HCA insiders were selling off their shares — just about a month before the price dropped.

Information about the insiders' moves was publicly available through disclosures required by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About 2.3 million shares, worth about $112 million, were sold by HCA insiders from January through June, with sales getting larger as the spring wore on, said Mark LoPresti of Thomson Financial. In May and June, 770,629 shares were sold for total gains of $42 million, he said.

The sales, which included moves by Hospital Corporation of America's chief executive, treasurer, senior vice president for government programs and several directors, were among the largest insider selloffs analysts had seen, LoPresti said. Many officers made their largest trades ever in April, only to top them again in May and June, LoPresti said.

Meanwhile, HCA shares continued a steep climb that would ultimately take the price up 56 percent from October 2004 to July 2005, peaking in late June, LoPresti said.

(Full story)

Update: I take that back. Federal prosecutors have now "subpoenaed hospital operator HCA Inc. in connection with sales of stock held by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, the company said on Friday."

HCA subpoenaed over Senate leader's stock


Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Good point- if wants to run, he's gotta stay clean.

Reminds me of Hillary and Tyson. Fast in, early out.

Dingo said...

Well, I guess past indiscretions never hurt Clinton or Bush. But Frist looks to be on shakey ground as it is.

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

I suppose- but you know what? I'm suspect he- and others, will get a pass.

Smoke filled, back room type deals.