| NEW YORK
NEW YORK May 31 A Washington, D.C. political
consultant and three others pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to
charges that they engaged in an insider trading scheme based on
leaks from within a federal healthcare agency.
Political consultant David Blaszczak, founder of Precipio
Health Strategies; Christopher Worrall, most recently an
employee of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
(CMS); and Rob Olan and Ted Huber, most recently partners at
healthcare hedge fund Deerfield Management entered their pleas
before U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan.
Olan and Huber are no longer listed on Deerfield's website,
and Deerfield did not immediately respond to a request for
comment. It also could not immediately be determined whether
Worrall is still employed by CMS.
The four were arrested and charged by federal prosecutors
last week. A former Deerfield member who was also charged,
Jordan Fogel, pleaded guilty the previous Friday.
Prosecutors said that from 2012 to 2014, Olan, Huber and
Fogel schemed to get confidential information about CMS's
internal decision-making from Blaszczak, who previously worked
there. Blaszczak in turn got the information from his former
colleague and "close friend" Worrall, prosecutors said.
CMS, part of the Department of Health and Human Services,
oversees government health insurance programs. The confidential
information included advance notice about rules cutting
reimbursement rates for radiation cancer treatment and dialysis,
allowing Deerfield to short healthcare companies affected by the
The companies included radiation oncology companies Accuray
Inc and Varian Medical Systems, and dialysis companies DaVita
Healthcare Partners Inc and Fresenius Medical Care, a unit of
Fresenius Medical Care, AG of Germany, among others, according
to the indictment.
According to a related complaint by the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission, the scheme yielded $3.9 million in profits
and at least $193,000 in consulting fees for Blaszczak's
(Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by David