DENVER – DaVita Inc. and its former CEO Kent Thiry are accused of conspiring with rivals in the health care industry to not solicit each other’s employees, according to a federal grand jury indictment filed in U.S. District Court of Colorado on Thursday.
DaVita and Thiry are charged with two counts of conspiracy of trade to allocate employees, a violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, according to the documents. A court appearance is scheduled for July 20 at 2 p.m. in Denver.
The first count alleges DaVita and Thiry conspired with Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA) to “suppress competition between them” by agreeing not to hire each other's senior-level employees across the United States dating back as far as February 2012 and continuing until at least as late as July 2017, the documents show.
The second count alleges DaVita and Thiry with conspiring with an unnamed company to not solicit each other’s employees dating back as early as April 2017 and continuing until at least as late as June 2019, according to the indictment.
If convicted, Thiry faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine or “twice the gross gain or twice the gross” per count. DaVita faces a $100 million fine “or twice the gross gain or twice the gross loss.”
Thiry was named an investor in the purchase of Denver’s Tattered Cover bookstore back in December 2020. He was also involved in the Energize Colorado Gap Fund as its executive chair. The fund helped fund businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Karen Crummy, a spokesperson for Kent Thiry, sent Denver7 the following statement:
"These allegations are false and rely on a radical legal theory about senior executive recruitment without precedent in U.S. history. The government took steps to ignore – and even hide – key evidence. The facts bear it out decisively: No antitrust violations occurred, these companies hired DaVita executives for years, and the companies are not competitors.”