Michael Milken, 60,000 Deaths, and the Story of Dendreon (Chapter 11 of 15)


    What follows is PART 11 of a 15-PART series. The remaining installments will appear on Deep Capture in the coming days, after which point the story will be published in its entirety.

    Click here to read PART 1

    Click here to read PART 2

    Click here to read PART 3

    Click here to read PART 4

    Click here to read PART 5

    Click here to read PART 6

    Click here to read PART 7

    Click here to read PART 8

    Click here to read Part 9

    Click here to read PART 10

    Where we left off, we had learned that on March 29, 2007, an FDA advisory panel voted overwhelmingly that Dendreon’s promising treatment for prostate cancer should be approved. As a result, most financial analysts and investors were expecting that Dendreon had a promising future.  However, ten hedge funds (out of a universe of 11,500 hedge funds) held large numbers of Dendreon put options (bets against the company), suggesting they had reason to believe that Dendreon would be derailed. At least seven of those hedge funds can be tied to Michael Milken or his close associates.

    We had also learned that Milken himself stood to profit if Dendreon were to experience unexpected problems receiving FDA approval. This is because Milken was the early financier and principal deal maker for ProQuest Investments, a fund that controlled, along with an affiliate, a company called Novacea, which was one of Dendreon’s competitors in the race to produce a new treatment for prostate cancer. Meanwhile, Lindsay Rosenwald (a Milken crony who once helped run a Mafia-linked brokerage called D.H. Blair, which specialized in pumping and dumping fake biotech companies) controlled Cougar Biotechnology, which was Dendreon’s second competitor in the race to develop a treatment for prostate cancer. We had learned further that Milken’s “philanthropic” outfit, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, had supported Novacea and Cougar, while turning its back on Dendreon.

    In addition, we had learned that in April 2007, Howard Scher, an FDA-contracted doctor who had sat on the FDA advisory panel that reviewed Dendreon’s application, and who also happened to be the chairman of the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s “Therapeutic Consortium,” initiated an unprecedented lobbying campaign to have the FDA reject Dendreon’s application for approval. This was highly improper, not only because advisory panel doctors are not supposed to lobby the FDA after a panel has already voted, but also because Dr. Scher was hardly an objective observer. Aside from his affiliation with Milken’s “philanthropy,” Dr. Scher was also an executive and board member of Milken’s ProQuest Investments, the firm that controlled Dendreon’s competitor, Novacea. Dr. Scher was, moreover, leading clinical trials for Novacea and serving as a board member of Lindsay Rosenwald’s Cougar Biotechnology.

    Also involved in the lobbying effort against Dendreon was Dr. Maha Hussain, who was also one of the 17 doctors who had sat on the FDA advisory panel that voted on Dendreon’s treatment (all 17 doctors voted that Dendreon was safe; only Dr. Scher, Dr. Hussain, and two others voted that it was not effective).  Dr. Hussain, like Dr. Scher, should not have been on that panel because she, too, had ties to the Milken-invested Novacea.

    Perhaps owing to those ties, both Dr. Scher and Dr. Hussain trashed Dendreon in “confidential” letters to FDA commissioners, letters which immediately were reprinted in a dubious publication called The Cancer Letter, causing Dendreon’s stock price to tank, to the profit of those ten hedge fund managers who had had the “foresight” to place big long-shot bets against Dendreon.

    Soon after, the FDA told Dendreon that it would not approve its prostate cancer treatment, sending the stock into the single digits, much to the delight of criminal naked short sellers who apparently knew the FDA decision was in the works and sold millions of phantom Dendreon shares in the days just prior to the decision becoming public knowledge.

    While the hedge funds were not surprised by the decision, many were. This was the first time in history that the FDA had ignored an expert advisory panel recommendation to approve a treatment destined for dying patients.

    Which raises the question…

    * * * * * * * *

    Who in the government helped sabotage Dendreon? Despite the lobbying by the captured doctors, despite the Wall Street whispering, despite the singing Sendek and the media mimics — despite all of this, it still seemed likely that the FDA would heed the advice of its advisory panel.

    Instead, the FDA told Dendreon that it would not yet approve its treatment — that the company had to get more data, which would take years, by which time the company could easily run out of money. The FDA handed Dendreon (and prostate cancer patients) what seemed like a death sentence. This was a strange occurrence. It must have followed some serious work by government officials in high places.

    One official who might have advocated against Dendreon was then FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach, who was a close ally of Michael Milken. Dr. von Eschenbach was a founding director of Milken’s Prostate Cancer Foundation, and later he was at the forefront of an ultimately unsuccessful effort to convince George Bush to grant a presidential pardon forgiving Milken for his crimes. But it is clear that von Eschenbach was not the only official courted by Milken and his associates.

    Long before I came along, an assortment of Dendreon shareholders, prostate cancer patients, honest folks on Wall Street (there are some), and concerned citizens spotted the connections among Milken, ProQuest and the captured doctors who led the lobbying effort against Dendreon. When the FDA failed to approve Provenge, these folks saw that an injustice had been done, and they hollered loudly. Soon after, a grass roots organization called Care-to-Live was founded to advocate on Dendreon’s behalf.

    Care-to-Live (to whom I owe a debt of gratitude for uncovering some of the information that appears in this story) has not only chronicled Dendreon’s travails, but has also labored tirelessly to right the wrongs.  It has organized street protests and letter-writing campaigns. It has lodged Freedom of Information Act requests and it has filed a lawsuit against the FDA. In the course of these efforts, it managed to get a hold of various documents and email communications between Dr. Scher (the physician with financial ties to Milken’s companies and “philanthropy”) and officials in the government bureaucracy.

    What these documents and emails show is that Dr. Scher and his allies depended largely on support from a mid-level FDA employee and the National Cancer Institute, which oversees government funding of cancer initiatives, and has considerable, though unofficial, influence over FDA decisions. Over the years, Milken and his Prostate Cancer Foundation have made great efforts to ingratiate themselves with the NCI, which may be one reason why Dendreon was never able to receive government funding, despite the revolutionary potential of its treatment.

    On March 31, 2007, Alison Martin, who was in charge of the prostate cancer division of the National Cancer Institute, emailed Dr. Scher, who was busy crafting the missive that would be published with mysterious immediacy by The Cancer Letter. “Glad to hear letter is being drafted,” Martin wrote. “If that [FDA] division’s vote suggests [that Dendreon’s treatment] be considered for approval, I was wondering if it then could go to ODAC, which is more clinically savvy, i.e. this is just a step in a process.”

    The “division” whose possible approval of Dendreon’s treatment so discomfited Dr. Martin was the FDA’s Center for Biologic Evaluation & Research (CBER), which was assigned the task of evaluating Dendreon’s application. Martin was suggesting that if CBER was going to approve Provenge, perhaps the matter could be taken to ODAC – the FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee, which was led by an FDA official named Dr. Richard Pazdur.

    Pazdur has a close relationship with a Washington lobbyist named Samuel D. Turner. Some years ago, Turner, who helps run an organization called the Cancer Leadership Council, led a campaign to have Pazdur appointed as the commissioner of the FDA. Michael Milken supported that campaign. And Milken’s advisors, such as Dr. Donald Coffey of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, have collaborated closely with Turner in another cancer lobbying group called C-Change, of which the Cancer Leadership Council is an affiliate.

    As a result of this support, Milken and Pazdur have become very close friends.

    Some years ago, a U.S. Congressional investigation determined that Pazdur, through his lobbyist friend Turner, had leaked inside information that the FDA was going to reject Erbitux, a cancer drug that was developed by ImClone. As you will recall, that inside information made its way to Martha Stewart, setting in motion the chain of events that landed her in jail.  The ImClone inside information also was first published in The Cancer Letter, the same rag that published Dr. Scher’s “confidential” letter to the FDA.  And, remember, the records of phone calls made to ImClone at that time raise the distinct possibility that funds managed by Milken cronies Carl Icahn, Steve Cohen, and Dirk Ziff also were privy to that information before it was made public.

    As an aside, after ImClone’s stock crashed on the news, the company was seized by Milken crony Carl Icahn. And soon after Martha Stewart received the inside information, but before she was caught, hedge funds in the Milken network began short selling Martha Stewart’s company, Martha Stewart Living Omnivision. One hypothesis that explains the exquisite timing of those hedge funds is that the funds knew Martha was going to be arrested and therefore shorted her company on the assumption that news of her arrest would crash the stock. They may even have been the ones who turned her in.  But that is a story for another time.

    For now, it merely needs to be emphasized that Pazdur, the FDA official, has unusually close relationships with Milken and some of his cronies. He was a key player in the ImClone scandal, which displays remarkable similarities (such as insider information mysteriously appearing in The Cancer Letter and the involvement of hedge funds in the Milken network) to the Dendreon scandal. And Pazdur appears to have been the FDA official most responsible for derailing Dendreon’s prostate cancer treatment.

    Pazdur was not supposed to be the one who decided whether Dendreon’s drug was approved. Instead, because the drug is a biologic, the decision rested with the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER). Nonetheless, Pazdur inserted himself into the decision process. It was at Pazdur’s behest that Dr. Scher and Dr. Hussain were, despite their ties to competing companies controlled by Milken’s funds and friends, appointed to the advisory panel that voted on Dendreon’s application.

    As you will recall, Dr. Scher and Dr. Hussain were among the four panelists who quickly voted “No” to the incorrectly phrased question about Dendreon’s effectiveness. When the phrasing was changed to the correct, legally mandated question ( Is there “substantial evidence” that the drug reduces mortality?) the remaining 13 experts on the panel voted “Yes.”

    According to eyewitnesses, just as panelists began voting “Yes,” Pazdur began passing notes to Dr. Maha Hussain, who then attempted to instill further confusion, apparently hoping to have the remaining panelists continue to vote on the incorrect question. Pazdur, who had come to the meeting uninvited and unannounced, also spent a good deal of time conversing with Dr. Hussain, giving the impression that they were working together to devise arguments that might turn the panel against Dendreon.

    Curious to know whether it was Pazdur who ultimately derailed Dendreon’s application, perhaps even delivering the captured doctors’ “confidential” letters to The Cancer Letter – and wondering whether this had anything to do with Pazdur’s relationship with Michael Milken — Care-to-Live, as part of its lawsuit against the FDA, subpoenaed Pazdur’s relevant emails and documents.

    Pazdur responded under oath as follows: “I searched both my paper and computer files and was unable to locate any documents that were responsive to Plaintiff’s requests. I recall receiving…these letters…However, as these letters related to a specific regulatory application conducted by a different FDA Center (CBER), did not fall under my direct regulatory supervision…I shredded my hard copies of these letters and deleted any electronic copies. The documents were shredded and deleted within a month of receipt.”

    This response was strange. For one, Pazdur seemed to be stating that he had no involvement in the Dendreon decision. If that were the case, what was he doing at the advisory panel meeting?  Pazdur’s statement also contradicted an earlier statement from the FDA. In response to complaints that Pazdur had participated in a decision that was supposed to be left to the CBER division, the FDA said that he had done so “at CBER’s request.” Clearly, Pazdur had been involved in the decision, so it was disingenuous for him to state otherwise in his efforts to explain why he had (frantically?) shredded and deleted all the relevant documents.

    Moreover, if Pazdur is telling the truth (and not, that is, simply obstructing justice), then Pazdur violated the spirit of various initiatives, including a bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and directives from the Archivist of the United States, aimed at ensuring that government employees maintain records of their official business. The reason that government officials are asked to keep good records is that they are sometimes involved in controversies – controversies such as the one that was swirling around Dendreon’s FDA application when Pazdur began shredding and deleting documents so promptly and thoroughly.

    In any case, most of the documents that Care-to-Live requested had been transmitted electronically, meaning that a simple computer excavation could have retrieved them, even if they were deleted. Clearly, Dr. Pazdur had reason not to hand over those documents. Perhaps he was advised not to by his lawyer, who happens also to be the same lawyer who represents The Cancer Letter, the rag that published the “confidential” letters that Dr. Scher and Dr. Hussain wrote to Dr. Pazdur and FDA commissioners.

    Fortunately, Alison Martin of the National Cancer Institute did not shred everything – she handed over at least some of her documents. And the email quoted above strongly suggests that her plan was to get Dendreon’s application out of the hands of the designated authority, CBER, and into the hands of Richard Pazdur. In response to that email, Dr. Scher wrote to Martin that he, too, would try to have Dendreon’s application “reviewed by ODAC” (which was controlled by Pazdur). In a follow-up email, Dr. Scher wrote: “Got a minute for quick question related to FDA processes?”

    A minute later, Martin responded: “Consider this confidential, please…but I wanted you to know.” As to what confidential information she delivered to Scher, that is unclear from the documents received by Care-to-Live. Apparently, the telling documents were also promptly shredded.

    But other documents and emails show that by early April, Martin was fully engaged in helping Scher draft his letter trashing Dendreon — the “confidential” letter to the FDA that would be quickly published by The Cancer Letter. Indeed, a copy of a half-edited draft of Dr. Scher’s letter was found on Martin’s computer. And in one email, Martin appears to complain about all the work she has done on this letter. “Maybe you should write a letter, too,” she jokes.

    So an employee of the federal government was helping a conflicted doctor lobby the federal government. That is, Martin, the head of the prostate cancer unit at the National Cancer Institute, was helping a doctor – a doctor with financial ties to Michael Milken and to a competing, Milken-invested company — sabotage Dendreon’s treatment for prostate cancer.

    As news of this started to reach Dendreon’s supporters, Martin left her job at the National Cancer Institute. Soon after, she was appointed president and chief executive officer of the Melanoma Research Alliance (where one  can safely suppose her compensation exceeds her previous government salary).

    The Melanoma Research Alliance was a brand new “philanthropic” outfit. It had just been set up by a “prominent philanthropist.”

    The name of the “prominent philanthropist” is, of course, Michael Milken.

    Milken founded the Melanoma Research Alliance and hired Alison Martin with an initial grant from Leon Black, the “prominent” billionaire and Milken crony who does business with an alleged Russian mobster named Felix Sater.

    Sater, remember, is the fellow who allegedly was behind the threat to have Deep Capture reporter Patrick Byrne murdered if Patrick did not end his crusade against abusive short selling and the “deep capture” of the nation’s regulatory bodies.

    * * * * * * * *

    On May 11, three days after the FDA failed to approve Dendreon’s treatment, The Wall Street Journal published a report that purported to investigate the allegations that the government approval process had been compromised. This “investigation” entailed asking Dr. Scher whether he had any conflicts of interest.

    “’I try to keep to the high ground,’” Dr. Scher told The Journal. Apparently content with his reply, and eager to assuage any suspicions that something nefarious had gone down, The Journal added that Dr. Scher “serves as an advisor to Innovive, a small biotech not involved in prostate cancer, and works with Bristol-Myers Squibb in an unpaid capacity on early stage drugs that may hold promise in prostate cancer. He and his wife hold small amounts of stock in Biogen, Idec and Pfizer.”

    That was it. According to the Journal, Scher had no conflicts of interest.

    The Journal did not mention that Dr. Scher was a board member and executive of  Milken’s ProQuest Investments. It did not mention the fact that ProQuest was heavily invested in Novacea, a Dendreon competitor. It did not mention that Dr. Scher was leading the trials of Novacea’s prostate cancer drug, or that he was a paid director on the advisory board of another Dendreon competitor – Milken crony Lindsay Rosenwald’s Cougar Biotechnology. And it did not mention that Dr. Scher was leading clinical trials for yet another Dendreon competitor, Cell Genesys, which, like Cougar and Novacea, was supported by Milken’s Prostate Cancer Foundation, whose “Therapeutic Consortium,” was chaired by none other than Dr. Scher.

    The Wall Street Journal did not mention any of this, despite the fact that concerned citizens had plastered the information all over the Internet.

    Four days after the Journal article appeared– May 15, 2007 – the FDA issued new guidelines for evaluating immunotherapy agents, such as Dendreon’s treatment. Now it was official – Pazdur’s division would have some influence.

    This seemed like the FDA was papering over a scandal. If Pazdur had violated the guidelines by influencing the Dendreon decision, now the FDA could say that, in fact, there were new guidelines, and Pazdur had followed them (never mind that the new guidelines were written one week after the FDA failed to approve Dendreon’s treatment, possibly because Pazdur had violated the old guidelines).

    * * * * * * * *

    Just a few weeks after the FDA said it would not yet approve Dendreon’s treatment, it was easier to understand why Dr. Scher, Milken and their allies were so eager to see Dendreon fail. On May 30, 2007, Novacea, the company whose largest investors were Milken’s ProQuest Investments and the affiliated Domain Associates, announced that it had signed a $500 million deal to jointly develop its prostate cancer treatment with pharmaceutical giant Schering Plough. Within 24 hours, Novacea’s stock price jumped 86 percent.

    In subsequent days, the business media reported this “news” as if it were not just a business triumph, but also a major breakthrough in the world of medicine. “On Tuesday, Novacea was just another young biotech, with a modest market capitalization of $187 million,” enthused Forbes magazine. “That all changed on Wednesday when the drug maker announced it had signed a deal worth over $500 million with pharma juggernaut Schering-Plough.”

    Forbes added that Novacea’s treatment “appears to significantly increase the chance of survival among androgen-independent prostate cancer patients…”

    As this $500 million figure and news of Novacea’s medical miracle made its way around the other news organizations, and appeared everywhere on the Internet, Novacea’s stock continued to soar.

    Nobody in the media paused to consider whether a “$500 million deal” constitutes a medical breakthrough (like, for example, reducing mortality by 20% in late-stage prostate cancer patients, as Dendreon had done). The assumption was, if there is big money and the stock is soaring, the company’s prostate cancer treatment must be good.

    Furthermore, nobody in the media paused to consider that had Dendreon received approval for its competing treatment, this “$500 million deal” would almost certainly not have happened. Nor did anybody in the media report that the people (Milken and friends) who stymied Dendreon were the same people who stood to profit from this purported “$500 million” deal.

    At any rate, the deal was not quite what it was made out to be. Novacea did not receive $500 million. It received $60 million up front. Meanwhile, Schering-Plough was given $12 million worth of Novacea stock at a bargain price. By cashing out of the stock after it soared in value, Schering-Plough could significantly reduce that upfront investment. The rest of the much-trumpeted $500 million was dependent on Novacea’s clinical trials showing that its cancer treatment actually improved the health of patients.

    Sure enough, just a few months later, in November 2007, Novacea announced that the clinical trial of its treatment had been terminated “due to an unexplained imbalance of deaths…” In other words, Novacea’s drug was not improving the health of patients. It was killing patients. And as soon as this news was released, the much-heralded $500 million Schering-Plough deal was cancelled.

    Either shortly before or soon after the trials were terminated due to an “imbalance of deaths,” Milken’s ProQuest Investments and Domain Associates sold their stock in Novacea. Given the enormous boost the stock price had received after the “$500 million” news, it appears that  ProQuest and Domain (i.e. Michael Milken and friends) sold their stock at a significant profit.

    So the questions remain: Did Dr. Scher (who worked for ProQuest and lead Novacea’s clinical trials) really believe that Novacea’s treatment was superior, as he claimed during his successful campaign to get the FDA to reject Dendreon’s drug? Did Michael Milken’s Prostate Cancer Foundation, which was an extension of ProQuest and snubbed its nose at Dendreon’s treatment, really believe that there were better treatments in the pipeline?

    Did ProQuest and its affiliate Domain, which founded Novacea, ever care about producing a marketable drug? Or was Novacea a scam? A scam that was built on real science (though Dr. Scher was less than upfront about the results of his clinical trials, his efforts to develop Novacea’s treatment were no doubt sincere).  A scam that was more sophisticated than those perpetrated by the bucket shops of yore, and whose every component may have been technically legal.

    But nonetheless a scam – an old-fashioned pump and dump scam.

    * * * * * * * *

    To be continued….Click here for Chapter 12.

    If this article concerns you, and you wish to help, then:
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    2) go here for additional suggestions: “So You Say You Want a Revolution?

    This post was written by:

    - who has written 87 posts on Deep Capture.


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    81 Responses to “Michael Milken, 60,000 Deaths, and the Story of Dendreon (Chapter 11 of 15)”

    1. clearthinker says:

      OMG

    2. sean says:

      The FDA was quoted by Harry Markopolos as a “Corrupt and captured agency”.This was and is the same guy that discovered the Madoff Ponzi Scam and reported it to our “protectors” of our investments the SEC,(10 years before Madoff confessed) called incompetent by the same H.M. Two things here, Markopolos knew and knows what he was talking about and so does Deepcature and Mark Mitchell. FACTS. This is NOT A COINCIDENCE!! Milken and his Cabal are being sytematically outed and lets see who the first(sorry second) media outlet that will confirm and expose this scandal for what it really is “Grand Larcencny of the American people”.

    3. Karma says:

      Great work Mark! My blood boils reading this, and re-visiting those days. It’s hard to conceive the utter lack of integrity in some of these upper echalons of the FDA and SEC.

      Also, I think the correct spelling of Von E is Von Eschenbach, though I could be wrong. At any rate, he was just a vacuous double talking head. He spent more time trying to get the Milkman a pardon then being an even passable FDA commisioner.

      I look forward to the rest of the chapters, and look forward to Karma kicking some hoodwinking hack butt!

    4. NOYBIZNIZ says:

      http://www.melanomaresearchalliance.org/about_mra/leadership_team/

      Why is Alison Martin’s name no longer listed on the MRA website? It seems her tenure there was very short, as her appointment was announced just under a year ago? So, where is she now?

      In fact, even the press release that announced her appointment has been removed from their website. http://www.melanomaresearchalliance.org/news/ and there is no press release announcing the appointment of her successor.

      I wonder why.

    5. NOYBIZNIZ says:

      Reached by telephone, the MRA indicated that Dr. Alison Martin is no longer the CEO and has left the organization as of July 1, 2009. No further information was available.

      Interesting timing of her departure, eh?

      • tom waits says:

        I find it odd she just left the MRA ~ 2 weeks ago! I hope CaretoLive gets the rest(blacked out emails) between her and Scher! They are blacked out because imho it proves a conspiracy took place. By the way has DeepCapture tried to get any of these emails etc through the FOIA from the FDA?

    6. Kilroy.Killbasher says:

      There’s another bus leaving for the North Carolina federal prison! Move over, Bernie! You’re going to have some doctors to chat with.

      It’s amazing to me that there are “amateur investigators” or “scambusters” as they like to call themselves on boards like Raging Bull and Investors Hub pounding their “pump and dumps” targets (very selectively, of course). Yet they expend tremendous “posting energy” diverting the attention of readers from Deep Capture. If they were legitimate scambusters, they would welcome the assistance. The fact that they discredit the reporting and call the reporters names speaks volumes.

      They dig for every little piece of dirt on their “targets”, yet when Mark so clearly lays out the scam of these “big boys”, do they agree? No, they say it’s all a sham. These paid message board bashers are part of the network of disinformation and manipulation as well.

      Do you hear me Janice Shell (Evans) and Greedy Malone (Gerard Mooney)?

    7. David says:

      A fantastic read, and thank you Mr. Mark Mitchell for all that you do.

    8. sean says:

      Kilroy, good stuff but don’t forget Jonas, he posts here under several different alias’ also and should be inclusive in your post above!!! This whole story gets better and better and although certain posters try to bury good quality on-topic posts with garbage, the strong and good manage to come thru in spectacular fashion.

    9. JL says:

      The FDA, SEC, FBI, CIA, Wall Street, House, Senate, Courts, Judges, Lawyers, Doctors, CNBC, Fox, The Mafia.

      A crippled structure to say the least.

      Hugo Chavez, Noriega, Kim Jong Il, almost seem tame in comparison.

    10. Judgement day coming says:

      Kilroy,

      These message board bashers are indeed part of this criminal cabal.
      Albiet, at the bottom of the gene pool, pond scum to be exact.

      Janice Shell (Evans)
      Greedy Malone (Mooney)
      Jim Bishop
      Medchal
      Rashomon
      Scion
      Mighty Mezz
      stockdung

      These low lifes have aided and abetted all the crimes concerning stock manipulation and should be outed publicly.

    11. Solomon MacKay says:

      I posted a BUNCH of links but they are gone… guess I stepped on some toes. I have been told that I have sharp elbows. At any rate, I can not wait on the part where Mr. Mitchell points out that Mr. Milken has found the country that he (Milken) believes will be the global leader in drug development.

    12. caseystarman says:

      This is to direct your attention to the fact that those who voted “No” on the first question before the voting was halted, were Dr. Alexander and 3 or 4 others. The voting was halted because their “No” votes had been unexpected, and CBER’s Dr. Goodman had already interrupted the voting to ask the Chair to re-word the question.

      During the 3-minute Halt it was discovered that the language being voted upon had in fact differed materially from the FDA’s Congressionally-mandated standard. Dr. Celia Witten (the Official FDA CBER Observer for the Panel Meeting) conferred with Panel Chairman Dr. Mulé, and the resolution was redrafted and softened to the real mandate (that applies ONLY to the wording of the final Approval). (In other words, there is no Congressional Advisory Council mandate and this is a device apparently used often by Dr. Pazdur’s CDER Division of the FDA to kill unwanted Applications by making the wording impossibly strict at the AC level.)

      So, after the change, voting then commenced again from the top with the same Dr. Alexander (who now voted “Yes,” as did the others who had voted “No” originally). This time the entire roll call voted (presumably alphabetically) and produced a 13-4 result with Scher and Hussain voting for the first time (on the second question) and doing so with much stumbling on their tongues.

      caseystarman

      Mr. Mitchell wrote this paragraph in his Ch. 11, (you can see how wrong it is):

      From Ch. 11:
      >>As you will recall, Dr. Scher and Dr. Hussain were among the four panelists who quickly voted “No” to the incorrectly phrased question about Dendreon’s effectiveness. When the phrasing was changed to the correct, legally mandated question ( Is there “substantial evidence” that the drug reduces mortality?) the remaining 13 experts on the panel voted “Yes.”<<

      • Paul says:

        caseystarman:

        You write:The voting was halted because their “No” votes had been unexpected, and CBER’s Dr. Goodman had already interrupted the voting to ask the Chair to re-word the question.

        Are you saying that Dr Goodman stacked the panel to get yes votes. Just maybe Dr Goodman realized that a different question was asked than what was the norm. Please don’t tell people that Dr Goodman stacked the panel in Dendreon’s favor. That would put him in the same league as Pazdur.

    13. Joe says:

      The US Senate Banking Committee is holding a hearing Wednesday, July 15 at 2:30 PM on the topic of “Regulating Hedge Funds and Other Investment Pools”.

      Before the hearing, you may want to express your opinion to the committee members by calling the US Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak with one of the following senators:

      Democrats
      Christopher J. Dodd Chairman (D-CT)
      Tim Johnson (D-SD)
      Jack Reed (D-RI)
      Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)
      Evan Bayh (D-IN)
      Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
      Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI)
      Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
      Jon Tester (D-MT)
      Herb Kohl (D-WI)
      Mark Warner (D-VA)
      Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
      Michael Bennet (D-CO)

      Republicans
      Richard C. Shelby Ranking Member (R-AL)
      Robert F. Bennett (R-UT)
      Jim Bunning (R-KY)
      Mike Crapo (R-ID)
      Mel Martinez (R-FL)
      Bob Corker (R-TN)
      Jim DeMint (R-SC)
      David Vitter (R-LA)
      Mike Johanns (R-NE)
      Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)

    14. captislandboy says:

      casestarman’s recollection of how the voting went down, is correct. I would also like to add that while Dr. Scher was traveling the “high road” he claimed that he had received DEATH THREATS from Dendreon investors, which was never substancianted by anyone. No Police, no investigation by any law enforcement officals. In fact, there is a standing reward (I don’t remember the amount), that was put up for anyone with information that could prove his allegation. Still no takers.

      • akcje says:

        _
        captislandboy > Dr. Scher [...] claimed that he had received DEATH THREATS from Dendreon investors, which was never substancianted by anyone.

        “Never substantiated”? Reminds you of the death threats claimed by Mitchell…?

        BTW, there are quite a few idiots on the message boards (IV, Yahoo,…) perfectly capable to make those threats. In fact, implied threats were even made in the comments to these chapters.

    15. Wolf says:

      I am sick to my stomach after reading this. I am literally shaking with rage. No punishment is too severe for scum such as Milken, Scherr, Martin etc. No mercy.

    16. kyoto27 says:

      “Mike Milken, with his vision of the future, recognized that cancer was not just a scientific problem or a medical problem, but that it was an economic problem, a political problem, a cultural problem and a social problem, said urological surgeon Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, former head of the U.S. National Cancer Institute and, more recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration…

      Testifying at a special Congressional hearing on prostate cancer back in 1999, (Milken) said he believes the real “after” – a world after prostate cancer – will arrive, and sooner rather than later. “I believe that we can accelerate science…if we give cancer researchers the same kinds of tools that technology companies employ in accelerating scientific development, we can find a cure faster. We have advanced people working on this inside and outside the government. Let’s give them the tools and the incentives to finish the job.”

      The above quotes are from A National Newsletter and Web Site from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (see below). Looks like the hospital’s BODs need to read at least Chapters 1-11.

      Making the Fight Against Prostate Cancer His Business
      Financier Michael Milken Stepped Up Philanthropy When Battle Turned Personal

      Cancer Prevention
      A National Newsletter and Web Site from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

      http://www.nypcancerprevention.com/issue/13/cancer_prevention/feature/milken.shtml

    17. sean says:

      If you removed these 2 entities from the eqation, our capital markets may just work the way it was meant to.

      Michael Milken and Cohorts

      Goldman Sachs

      Elliot Spitzer Comments on Goldman Sachs

      http://zerohedge.blogspot.com/2009/07/tyler-durdens-picture-eliot-spitzer-on.html

    18. iStandUp says:

      Joe,

      In addition to contacting our United States, I think it would be useful to point each of them to Senator Kaufman’s remarks on this topic:

      http://kaufman.senate.gov/press/press_releases/release/?id=ca3242db-4ec7-4966-ad09-a302d139019f

      ” Kaufman Turns Up Heat on SEC to Curb Abusive Short Sales

      Kaufman: “There is a fierce urgency to fix this problem now”

      June 25, 2009

      WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a floor statement last night and letter to SEC Chair Mary Schapiro, Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-DE) outlined the ways abusive short selling exacerbated the recent financial crisis – especially with Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros. – and warned that, if it is not prohibited and effectively policed, it could cause substantial harm during another market decline.

      “Let me be clear: The public believes and the SEC has yet to discount that the effects of abusive naked short selling practices helped cement the demise of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, as well as made it significantly harder for banks to raise critical capital in the throes of the financial crisis,” Sen. Kaufman said on the floor. “It is no exaggeration to say that abusive short selling at a critical moment further endangered our financial system and economy and thereby helped lead to taxpayer bailouts that have totaled hundreds of billions of dollars.” …”

    19. Ted says:

      Notorious Novastar naked short, David Rocker sold 6% of Martha Stewart when she was arrested.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/15/business/hedge-funds-sell-stewart-holdings.html

      He was suspected of having a “long short” strategy where he would have had a much larger naked short position.

    20. Anonymous says:

      All the bailouts and mergers hide the naked short positions through netting (because the obligations net to zero when two brokerages that owe each other shares merge because one goes bankrupt).

      Now GS reports a $3.5 billion profit. Who’s wallet do you think that $3.5 billion came from?

      http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Bailed_out_Goldman_Sachs_profit_soa_07142009.html

    21. Sledge_Hamer says:

      All I want to know is how soon can Michael Moore make a documentary
      of this crime? I’d like to see all of these players have their names
      and deeds EXPOSED on national TV or a movie theater near you.

      Let’s get’er done,,,Mark, Patrick, anyone who can. Get this snowball
      rolling down a bigger hill.

      &%$# all these crooked captured doctors, federal employees and the hedgies. It’s time to ruin their so called good names but good.
      People died because of their greed. Time to call in the pit bull!

    22. Anonymous says:

      Now we have (pictured together in 2005) Milken and NCI director Andy Von Eschenbach…hummmmm

      http://www.prostatecancerfoundation.org/site/c.itIWK2OSG/b.734793/k.3E28/Photos_from_the_2005_Home_Run_Challenge_to_support_the_Prostate_Cancer_Foundation.htm

      PCF Chairman Mike Milken (right) joins National Cancer Institute director Andy Von Eschenbach, before the Washington Nationals Atlanta Braves game on June 2, 2005. Von Eschenbach has set a goal of eliminating suffering and death from cancer by 2015.

      http://www.prostatecancerfoundation.org/atf/cf/%7B705B3273-F2EF-4EF6-A653-E15C5D8BB6B1%7D/VonEschenbach_MM_0084_small.jpg

    23. Anonymous says:

      Oh my !!! Here is Milken and Yahoo CEO and Chairman in 2005….Busy man Milken is….

      PCF Chairman Mike Milken, Tommy Lasorda, Hall of Fame Dodgers manager, and Terry Semel, Yahoo! chairman and CEO, got together at a Home Run Challenge HRC game at San Francisco’s SBC Park.

      http://www.prostatecancerfoundation.org/atf/cf/%7B705B3273-F2EF-4EF6-A653-E15C5D8BB6B1%7D/MM_Lasorda_Semel_0029_small.jpg

    24. sean says:

      You all have got to see this.

      Gasparino Says Goldman Sachs Is A Hedge Fund, Not A TARP-Protected Bank

      http://zerohedge.blogspot.com/2009/07/gasparino-tells-cnbc-to-stop-protecting.html

    25. Anonymous says:

      Milken ties to Von Eschenbach….pictured above Milken and Eschenbach in June 2005. Eschenbach becomes Commish. FDA in 2006-2009. Was the director of NCI when picture was taken with Milken 2005. Was Commish of FDA when Dendreon (direct competitor of Milken Proquest) was derailed in 2007. Plot thickens…wonder what he is doing now?

      Andrew C. von Eschenbach (born October 30, 1941 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was the Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration from 2006-2009. He became acting Commissioner on September 26, 2005, after the resignation of his predecessor
      Lester Crawford, and was confirmed as Commissioner by the Senate on December 7, 2006.[1][2] He was previously the 12th director of the National Cancer Institute.

      “Andrew von Eschenbach was instrumental in the development and growth of the Prostate Cancer Foundation (founded by Michael Milken) since its inception in 1993 and held a board membership position and scientific advisor role at the foundation. C-Change, a forum that brings together the principal leaders of key national cancer organizations, and founded by Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, is in partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_von_Eschenbach

    26. Rick says:

      What’s puzzling to me is the fact that Schering-Plough would sign a $500 million deal with Novacea and make an upfront payment of $60 million. What kind of due-diligence did Schering-Plough perform if Novacea’s drug was just a fraud? Milken’s tentacles spread into big pharma too? Shouldn’t be much of a surprise ! Have they captured the deal making folks in S-P? Perhaps kick-backs are involved? It’s hard to believe that big pharma would be suckered into such a purchase. Not just Schering-Plough, but also that other pharma that bought Cougar Biotech. $60 million is no chump change even for a large company. I wonder what the CEO of Schering-Plough thinks about this sucker deal. Do you think he knows about this story? Wouldn’t hurt to get the story to them and get them on our side for this fight.

      Oh, by the way, Mike Mitchell and Patrick Byrne, fabulous job. Good to have you lead the fight against the dark side.

    27. Don says:

      Milkenndoesnhisndeals at ball games ,where he can’t be recorded..hardto believe this man is still vertical and likking so many and destroying so many lives in the 80s…This man is a monster, and monsters should be destroyed..

    28. Don says:

      Well , SEC here it is a,all laid out for ,Are you going to act or are who to busy protecting these crooks…Pull your thumb out of your ass and do your job..or face the wrath of the American public real soon…

    29. Bill says:

      Instead of sending this to a dozen friends as suggested, we should each send it to:

      1. congressional representatives, House and Senate
      2. New head of FDA
      3. New head of SEC
      4. Whitehouse

      Add your feelings about this to your comments to these people and
      maybe something will happen. But as long as it can be ignored by the “powers that be”, probably nothing will (happen), sadly.

    30. sean says:

      Anyone hazard to guess why the did they Cougar deal so quickly. You think Johnson and Johnson did sloppy dd like Schering did, or is it just one big you scratch my back deal? I hope the SEC did their dd better than they did on Refco!!! Or somebody just made billions while the other got ripped off like nobobody’s business. This could get very interesting and by the way did anyone find Allison Martin yet? She may be at Devoise and Pimton (sp)!! LOL!!

      • Solomon MacKay says:

        I’m not sure Schering et. al. did dd, but I do believe that the firms hired to do dd are compromised. In other words, dd and other task have been outsourced and these companies no longer have any internal staff that does this work. This leaves the business in question at the mercy of others good will.

    31. iStandUp says:

      Does anyone know about SEC Rule #77, which is referenced in the following email letter?

      The following email letter references this SEC RULE (77) and states anyone can “legally plunder money”:

      “SUBJECT:
      Financial Dose – SEC rule #77 lets you legally plunder money from these 6 accounts for your own gain

      Dear reader,

      What I’m about to tell you might raise a few eyebrows. But everything you’re about to read is 100% accurate and legal. Here’s the situation. Zachary Scheidt, a lead analyst for Taipan Publishing Group, has uncovered an obscure SEC regulation that allows you to legally “pirate” as much as $109,122 from these six corporate accounts. In fact the SEC ruling lets you plunder money from as many as 3,000 public accounts.

      Now, most investors don’t even know this ruling exists. And you can believe that the Fat Cat CEOs are glad 99% of investors don’t know how to “pirate” this cash… But it’s EASY if you know the regulation – and the misunderstood, yet incredibly lucrative technique Zachary Scheidt is going to show you today. The details are in his new report, which I’ve included in this e-mail.

      I’m not asking you to do anything illegal, immoral or unethical. This is money that corporate CEOs are using for their own good when it should be used for the good of the company and shareholders. Take AIG, for instance. Last year, top execs doled out $440,000 for a top-notch retreat to the St. Regis resort in California and tossed down $86,000 for a hunting trip in England… all the while standing in line for $85 billion worth of government bailout cash. Do you think it’s fair they play with investors’ hard earned money that way?

      Heck no. Look… if you do nothing else with this information but read it, then that’s fine. But there’s an opportunity for you to turn the tables on the greedy fat cats and put some money in your own pocket.

      Sincerely,

      Matthew Simons
      Publisher”

    32. Anonymous says:

      istandup, sounds like a scam. I wouldn’t click into it.

    33. Operation Broadcast says:

      The Best Strategy is to email this to all these miscreants colleagues and their workplace. As they say bring awareness to the workplace. Noticed most of these miscreants contact information suddenly blanked out on their organization website. Make them even more famous! (if they are not famous already!)

      For example, email every researchers and scientists that work at Sloan Kettering, Rockefeller University, University of Michigan, University of Washington, etc… Harvest the email address through their organization’s website. If you can only get 10% of the recipients to read it you have make a difference.

      Note: work in progess

    34. ron says:

      It seems to me that DOJ the SEC and the FDA are going to do nothing. The evidence presented here while not enough to convict anyone is enough to suponea many and ask questions under oath. (That was what sent Martha Stewart to jail it was not insider trading it was lying under oath.) Since it appears that none of the organs responsible for protecting societies weaker members are willing to act it appears that civil remedies are required to punish the guilty. Where are the class action lawyers when you need them

    35. sean says:

      A little off topic: A day late and $73 billion(65billion+8 billion Madoff and Stanford) Short.. but at least it might be a start to finding all those other ponzi schemes out there right?

      Obama wants SEC to look into hedge fund booksFont size: A | A | A1:00 PM ET 7/15/09 | Marketwatch
      WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – The Obama administration on Wednesday plans to send a proposal to Capitol Hill that would require hedge fund managers and private equity managers with more than $30 million in assets under management register with the Securities and Exchange Commission and open up their books to periodic examinations, according to remarks by Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Michael Barr on regulatory reform. The White House proposal, which is backed by the Treasury Department, will also require hedge fund managers to disclose to regulators and investors more information about the characteristics of their hedge funds. Fund managers will need to provide more details about asset size, borrowings and any off-balance sheet exposure.

    36. iStandUp says:

      Who among the witnesses below are representing the investment interests of the vast majority of investors in the United States?

      The Common Men and Women, whose retirement funds and college funds are slaughtered by the rich and powerful through Hedge Funds whenever they want to to feed their greed?

      Here is a link to the Senate Banking Committee with a list of witnesses today:

      http://banking.senate.gov/public/index.c

      Wednesday, July 15, 2009
      02:30 PM
      538 Dirksen Senate Office Building, room 538

      The witness on Panel I will be:

      Mr. Andrew J. Donohue, Director of the Division of Investment Management,

      U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

      The witnesses on Panel II will be: Mr. Dinakar Singh, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, TPG Axon Capital;

      Mr. James S. Chanos, Chairman, Coalition of Private Investment Companies;

      Mr. Trevor R. Loy, General Partner, Flywheel Ventures;

      Mr. Mark B. Tresnowski, Managing Director and General Counsel, Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC;

      Mr. Richard Bookstaber, Financial Author; and

      Mr. Joseph Dear, Chief Investment Officer, California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

    37. sean says:

      I Stand you may find this even more interesting.(I hear the hearing are going to be sponsored by Goldman Sachs)LOL!!

      Pelosi – Reid – Appoint Six To Modern Day Pecora Hearings
      http://speaker.house.gov/newsroom/pressreleases?id=1274

    38. iStandUp says:

      Sean,

      YES – now we are talking!!

      Maybe this commission will subpoena all the Hedge Fund members of the Senate Panel testifying today!

      And if they lie to this Commission, hopefully they will be tried, convicted and put in prison!

    39. sean says:

      IStand I need to see /hear thetestimony of Chanos et al. Where can I locate that video?

    40. Philip says:

      Thank you for your continued commitment to show a light onto this growing problem of naked short selling. This is a great story.

      You should investigate in the future the manipulations on going in the airline stocks which are also being unfairly reported particularly by the Wall Street Journal®.

    41. iStandUp says:

      Here is the link to watch the LIVE hearing – which is no longer live:

      http://banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=b4b5348b-ba91-4512-bca2-bf45b2e5fbde

      I will have to search for the recorded version…. maybe on YouTube?

    42. Anonymous says:

      You may also be interested in reading a research paper on probable manipulation of the Google stock price after earnings releases, which Google will do this week. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1337350&download=yes

    43. Anonymous says:

      Patrick & Mark are Sheep Dogs

      William J. Bennett, in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy on November 24, 1997 said: “Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident.” We may well be in the most violent times in history but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.
      Then there are the wolves and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy. Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You’d better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.
      Then there are sheepdogs and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. If you have no capacity for violence, then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep.
      If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog – a warrior – someone who is walking the uncharted path – someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.

    44. sean says:

      I Stand and all crusaders please watch this video..

      Here’s clip of PB on Glenn Beck

      Dealing with Goldman Sachs and the captured NY financial press.

      Look for the “DeepCapture” under Patrick’s name (he appears at the 7′ 40″ mark).

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wVQ3_ZaYB4

    45. iStandUp says:

      Sean,

      The Glenn Beck piece on Goldman Sachs… well I would say it is unbelievable, except is it undeniable.

      This is a must see video in which Patrick appears!!!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wVQ3_ZaYB4

    46. sean says:

      IStand.. that is the same video I gave you!!LOL!!

    47. Feedchipper says:

      William Bennett’s sheepdog lecture makes sense, though I can’t help thinking of Bill Murray’s “big toe” speech about Sgt. Hulka in Stripes. Then again, there is Pitt’s Ezekiel analysis in Pulp Fiction… Oh well, there’s got to be room for a little humor in all this misery.

      Mark, Patrick and Judd, I give thanks every day for your noble work. As bad off as it seems we are, where would we be without you?

    48. Anonymous says:

      So GLENN BECK FINALLY gets a BIT involved. Except what Beck FAILS to do is show the public CAUSE and EFFECT. What caused BEAR STEARNS and others to FAIL? HOW do you take take a publically traded company in days and while doing so take a great nation down to it’s knees in months? Yes, Goldman was able to benefit. And yes it’s great to see Patrick participating on the show and discussing the topic. However, most here aren’t surprised by Goldman ties. Heck most aren’t surprised by those who have been complicit. Most here KNOW who knew and who didn’t do anything either due to complicity or agenda. Maybe Glen could put up a magnetic black board showing all the names of the who’s who or liars/cheats and thieves. All he’d have to do is pull the information from the great work that Mark/Judd/Patrick/Bobo and others have put together and while showing the data show the link to DEEP CAPTURE and THE SANITY CHECK. Until, Glen comes off as one with a political agenda versus identifying the CAUSE and the EFFECT.

    49. Jim Hall says:

      Anon, Beck must now start painting the picture with the manipulators and miscreants, the Rocker, Soros, Cramer, Milken, Einhorn contingent.

      I’m sure his viewers would be captivated.

    50. Anonymous says:

      In case you were wondering if any of these miscreants will ever be prosecuted for their crimes….rest assured, they won’t. Thanks Prez Obama!!!!

      7-15-09 5:45 PM EDT
      http://news.morningstar.com/newsnet/ViewNews.aspx?article=/DJ/200907151745DOWJONESDJONLINE000860_univ.xml

      WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Much has changed at the Justice Department since the Obama administration took charge, but one controversial tactic in corporate- crime cases has not: the use of settlements that allow corporations to avoid prosecution for wrongdoing.

      The department has entered into 10 of these agreements at the mid-point of 2009, a pace slightly ahead of 2008, when the department entered into 18 agreements over the whole year, according to a report by the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

      And the pace could quicken in the coming months if the department builds criminal cases against firms that are connected to the economic meltdown. “There could be a lot of deferred prosecution agreements coming out of that,” law-firm partner Joseph Warin said.

      Under the agreements, called deferred prosecution agreements or non- prosecution agreements, a corporation typically pays a fine and agrees to take a number of steps to remedy its wrongdoing, in exchange for a government promise not to prosecute.

      Notable agreements this year include settlements in which UBS AG (UBS) admitted to helping wealthy Americans evade taxes and Beazer Homes USA Inc. ( BZH) admitted to mortgage fraud and securities fraud violations, the first deferred prosecution agreement tied to the mortgage meltdown.

      These types of agreements were largely unheard of a decade ago, but their use has grown rapidly in recent years, especially since accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP collapsed after its 2002 criminal conviction on obstruction-of- justice charges related to the Enron scandal. The firm’s demise resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs. The conviction was later overturned by the Supreme Court, but the damage already had been done.

      Justice Department lawyer Gary Grindler, testifying at a U.S. House hearing last month, said deferred prosecution agreements ensure that corporations face serious consequences for wrongdoing while also minimizing the impact to innocent third parties. Employees, shareholders and customers all can be harmed when a corporation is prosecuted, he said.

      But critics, including some lawmakers, have suggested that the agreements encourage disrespect for the law and fail to hold corporations fully accountable for their actions.

      Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., speaking at the same hearing, said companies ” shouldn’t necessarily get a sweetheart deal because they are a corporation and be subjected to a different set of justice than an individual would.”

      Other critics have approached the issue from a different angle, questioning whether the deals give prosecutors too much leverage over corporations and allow them to extract penalties in questionable cases where in the past the government would have chosen not to prosecute.

      A preliminary U.S. Government Accountability Office report, released last month, said federal prosecutors around the country varied in their willingness to use the agreements, and in the conditions they included in them.

      Warin of Gibson Dunn said there have been several notable variances in the agreements reached so far this year.

      Under the Beazer Homes deal, announced earlier this month, the home builder cannot make statements that contradict its acceptance of responsibility for its criminal wrongdoing, but if the company faces related lawsuits from private parties, it can argue that the government’s allegations should not apply in those cases.

      “Many prosecutors won’t agree to that provision,” Warin said.

      As part of the UBS agreement, prosecutors allowed the bank to continue to fight a high-stakes IRS summons that seeks the identities of 52,000 clients who may have used UBS accounts to evade taxes.

      A settlement involving WellCare Health Plans Inc. (WCG) required the company to post copies of the deferred prosecution agreement and the Justice Department’s charges prominently on its Web site until the agreement expires.

      The deal, announced in May, resolved charges that the company defrauded Florida’s Medicaid and Healthy Kids programs.

      -By Brent Kendall, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9222; brent.kendall@ dowjones.com

    51. Jim Hall says:

      BEST DAMN GOVERNMENT MONEY CAN BUY!

    52. sean says:

      For your perusal Slightly off topic but very relevant!!

      SEC Gives ‘Wish List’ of 42 Changes it Wants in Securities Law
      Thursday, July 16, 2009
      SEC Gives ‘Wish List’ of 42 Changes it Wants in Securities Law
      Rich Edson
      FOXBusiness
      The Securities and Exchange Commission has sent a “wish list” to Capitol Hill of 42 changes it would like made to federal securities law.
      This list, obtained by FOX Business from a person on Capitol Hill, contains proposed alterations that the SEC believes would help strengthen regulation of the financial-services industry. The proposals likely wouldn’t be brought up as legislation on their own, but could possibly be attached to a larger bill at some point.

      See our SEC page for the latest videos and news on the commission.

      Below are about a dozen of those suggestions.

      Authorize the SEC to pay awards to individuals who provide information to the agency leading to the successful enforcement of the federal securities laws.
      A regulated person who violates the securities laws in one part of the securities industry — for example, a broker-dealer who misappropriates customer funds — should be barred from access to customer funds in another part of the industry.
      Authorize the SEC to pay awards to individuals who provide information to the agency leading to the successful enforcement of the federal securities laws.
      Authorize expanded access to grand jury materials when such information is critical to SEC cooperative investigations (with potential attendant safeguards to insure that the Commission maintains the confidentiality of the information) similar to access available to banking regulators.
      Authorize the SEC to obtain records from financial institutions in the same manner as it does from other third-party record holders.
      Amend numerous provisions of the federal securities laws to make it explicit (clarify or confirm) that the SEC has the authority to bring actions against persons formerly associated with a regulated or supervised entity for misconduct that occurred during that association.
      Clarify U.S. extraterritorial jurisdiction under antifraud provisions of securities laws, overwriting disparate judicial tests by combining both (effects and conduct). U.S. courts would have jurisdiction over “conduct occurring outside the United States that has a foreseeable substantial effect within the United States.”
      Authorize the SEC to set illiquid security limits for mutual funds because of the redeemability requirement.
      Give Public Company Accounting Oversight Board authority to inspect auditors of broker dealers.
      Give the SEC the same authority to examine “all” records of registered investment companies that it has had for other registered entities, including broker-dealers and investment advisers, since 1975.
      Amend Exchange Act to permit exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, to go to court on their own behalf to enforce compliance with fully litigated disciplinary sanctions, including fines and restitution.
      Amend Sarbanes-Oxley 806 to make clear that subsidiaries and affiliates of issuers may not retaliate against whistleblowers.
      Provide clarity for the SEC and provide greater ability to regulate the stock loan market.
      The amendment would require the personnel of registered securities information processors, national securities exchanges, and national securities associations to be fingerprinted.
      Here’s the full list of 42 items:

      http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/government/sec-gives-wish-list–changes-wants-securities-law/#

    53. Jim Hall says:

      Do I see anything about naked shorting in the SEC wish list?

      No!

    54. sean says:

      Jim, I guess you watch the Hank Paulson hearing too huh? LOL!!
      These guys are still shorting, not covering and still manipulating, in spite of all the light that’s being shed on their “GAME” They KNOW that they are “Currently” untouchable!!!

    55. Anonymous says:

      sean,
      With acts like the below article, you really think the SEC will be given more powers to do anything when they NEVER enforced the powers they possess now? Just more smoke-n-mirrors for our viewing pleasure !

      Lawmakers hit out at Paulson over BofA-Merrill

      Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:43pm EDT
      By Mark Felsenthal and Alister Bull
      http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN1640967120090716

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers on Thursday slammed former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson over the government’s role in Bank of America’s merger with Merrill Lynch, saying authorities suppressed information about losses and bullied executives into going through with the deal.

      “The American people, investors, and the Congress were kept in the dark,” Rep. Edolphus Towns told Paulson at a hearing.

      “There was no oversight to determine whether this arrangement made sense. In my view, this is unacceptable and must be prevented from happening again,” said Towns, the New York Democrat who chairs the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform panel.

      Paulson gave little ground, acknowledging that he told Bank of America chief executive Kenneth Lewis the bank’s management and board could lose their jobs if the company backed away from the merger, but arguing he had done nothing inappropriate in warning Lewis that such a move would be a colossal blunder and might have repercussions.

      “I was attempting to send a very strong message to Ken Lewis,” he said.

      Government pressure on Lewis and Bank of America to go through with the deal came to light in April and has become a focal point of congressional ire over extensive bailouts of the financial system. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Bank of America’s Lewis testified at previous hearings.

      “As most people look at this, they see a clear pattern of intimidation and deception,” Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, said on Thursday.

      Bernanke argued earlier the Fed had done nothing illegal or unethical in its efforts to convince Bank of America not to end the merger after discovering huge losses at Merrill. Lewis told the panel that authorities expressed “strong views” but said he would not characterize their stance as improper.

      On Thursday, lawmakers sought to find a chink in Paulson’s armor from various angles but found few openings. One difficulty may have been that Paulson had left no email trail.

      “I’ve never used it for any business communications. I’ve just never used it,” he told one lawmaker.

      Democrats, including Rep. Dennis Kucinich, wondered why authorities didn’t impose tougher restrictions on Bank of America after it received a $20 billion infusion to help it weather its rocky absorption of Merrill.

      “The lasting contribution of this committee’s investigation will be exposing Treasury and the Fed’s failure to require meaningful accountability from systemically significant banks in exchange for federal bailouts,” Kucinich said.

      Lawmakers of both parties expressed frustration at Paulson for seeking congressional approval of a $700 billion fund to buy toxic assets from banks only to use it to take equity stakes in banks.

      Paulson and other officials say the turnabout was necessary to react to a deepening crisis. Lawmakers knew they were giving the Treasury Department flexibility in how it used the funds, Paulson said.

      Towns has said he plans to call officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission to testify on the merger.

      (Reporting by Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

    56. Jim Hall says:

      Sean, the rats are getting their full before they jump off the sinking ship.

    57. sean says:

      Its gotten to the point where if iwas was’nt so sad and serious it would be funny. Is anyone investigating this comedian? (and I don’t mean Jon Stewart)

      http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2009/07/16/jon-stewart-slams-cramer-over-lenny-dykstra-bankruptcy/

    58. hangthemall says:

      how does the brokerage firm record the comission we pay for a trade? They have not settled it, so it cannot be recorded as income. The audtiors are allowing these firms to keep this scam going. Make them remove all income unless trades are settled.

    59. hangthemall says:

      Its Bail before Jail so you better not Fail.. how about T-Shirts sell them and use proceeds to run an campaign to teach amercians about this fraud and run it in a National Movie chain before the movies… EVERYONE goes to the movies run a 2 min ad. paid for by the T-shirt sale

    60. Jim Hall says:

      Christopher Cox lands on his feet!

      I feel all happy inside.

      http://www.boston.com/business/ticker/2009/07/bingham_mccutch_4.html

    61. Revolving Door says:

      How do these guys look at themselves in the mirror?

      Cox, who left the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in January, will work in the firm’s corporate, mergers and acquisitions and securities practice area, and become a principal at its Bingham Consulting Group subsidiary.

    62. Anonymous says:

      The naked shorts at GS are gutting themselves laughing at us.

      http://trueslant.com/matttaibbi/2009/07/16/on-goldmans-giganto-profits/

    63. Don says:

      How disappointing to read this. I like to think that a person can start over after serving time and become a contributing member of society. However this feeds my skeptical side and supports the old saying that a leopard does not change it’s spots. So sad for he parties involved and sadder for the rest of us with cancer.

    64. cash says:

      Hi, i think that i noticed you visited my site thus i came to ?return the choose?.I’m attempting to in finding things to improve my website!I suppose its adequate to make use of some of your ideas!!

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