The Salt Lake City office of the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating a stock sale by Myron Wentz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Usana Health Sciences. On February 12, Wentz sold 85,000 SHARES OF Usana stock, curiously at a five-year high price of $60.89 per share.
According to Roddy Boyd at the New York Post:
The regulators are examining the sale to see if Wentz had been tipped off to questions being asked by the Fraud Discovery Institute’s Barry Minkow.
Boyd also writes:
The regulators are looking at Minkow’s investigation into what he alleges is Wentz’s complex web of offshore stock accounts containing his 8.17 million shares, spanning from the Isle of Man to Lichtenstein, where Wentz has recently become a citizen.
David Bell, an investigator hired by Minkow to examine Isle of Man corporate filings – the locale is a leading European tax haven – said that the SEC contacted him over “the past few weeks.” Bell told The Post that the SEC’s questions included inquiries over “Wentz’s [stock] ownership structure.”
Minkow declined to comment on his communications with the SEC.
Usana hired corporate-investigation powerhouse, Kroll in late April, according to a spokesman, “to help combat misleading and inaccurate reports against Usana.”
Minkow, who had tried to hire Kroll in early December and had shared with the firm much of his investigation into Wentz’s stock holdings, sent Kroll an unsolicited background report on Usana, according to an e-mail thread obtained by The Post.
A Kroll spokeswoman said, “At no time did Kroll ever agree to work on Minkow’s behalf.”
So did Kroll leak the Minkow investigation to Usana, prompting the share sale by Wentz?