Things are getting worse for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, currently under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for an insider trading and stock dumping scandal involving shares of his family’s company, HCA. Frist has defended himself by pointing out that his stocks are in a blind trust, eliminating any conflicts of interest. However, it now seems that Frist has been holding stocks outside of this blind trust all along:
Outside the blind trusts he created to avoid a conflict of interest, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist earned tens of thousands of dollars from stock in a family-founded hospital chain largely controlled by his brother, documents show.
The Tennessee Republican, whose sale this summer of HCA Inc. stock is under federal investigation, has long maintained he could own HCA shares and still vote on health care legislation without a conflict because he had placed the stock in blind trusts approved by the Senate.
However, ethics experts say a partnership arrangement shown in documents obtained by The Associated Press raises serious doubts about whether the senator truly avoided a conflict.