Thursday, October 13, 2005

Frist's turn

The SEC wants to determine what Bill Frist knew and when he knew it in regard to his selling if HCA stock shortly before the company issued a profit warning. Today we learn that he has been subpoenaed for records related to the sale:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has been subpoenaed to turn over personal records in an investigation into possible insider trading, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The Securities and Exchange Commission issued the subpoena within the past two weeks, the newspaper reported, citing sources familiar with the probe.

A spokesman for Frist, a Tennessee Republican, was not immediately available for comment.

Frist aides previously said he had been contacted by regulators but did not mention that he had received a formal request for documents, The Washington Post said.

Authorities are looking into Frist's recent sale of shares of hospital operator HCA Inc., co-founded by Frist's father and brother. The sales took place just days before HCA's stock price fell on a disappointing July 13 profit outlook.

The newspaper, citing sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Frist was expected to testify under oath about what he knew about HCA's financial standing in the weeks before the stock sales.

Frist, viewed widely as a potential 2008 presidential candidate, said last month he had no inside information about the coming profit forecast when he began taking steps in April that led to the stock sale, which was completed on July 8.