Company Trump health secretary pick invested in faces foreign bribery penalty fine

Tom Price, John Yarmuth
FILE - Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., chairman of the House Budget Committee and a physician, appears before the Rules Committee, joined at right by Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., a member of the House Budget Committee, as he sponsors legislation that would repeal President Barack Obama's signature health care law, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) — A medical device company in which Rep. Tom Price purchased stock last year agreed in December to a $17 million Justice Department criminal penalty in a foreign bribery case.

Democrats are challenging the Georgia Republican, who is President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for health secretary, on his investments and potential conflicts of interest.

Price bought stock last year in Zimmer Biomet, a medical device maker. The acquisition came around the same time Price introduced legislation to suspend Medicare rules seen as problematic for such companies.

Price says at his confirmation hearing he did nothing wrong. A Price spokesman says Price had been working on the bill for months.

A Trump transition spokesman says “any effort to link Dr. Price’s investment portfolio to a company’s legal troubles is nonsensical, absurd, and insulting.”

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