A federal grand jury in Dallas handed down a 15-count indictment against a former Triad Hospitals executive related to commissions the executive took on land sales to Triad. James McElhaney, 55, was vice president of acquisition and development for Triad until he resigned when the investigation began in January 2002, according to his lawyer. The indictment alleges that McElhaney used an intermediary to buy 47 acres that Triad was targeting in Sherman, Texas, and then raised the price to Triad by $750,000. The indictment also accuses McElhaney of inserting bogus fees into several land purchases from late 1998 to October 2001. His lawyer, Jay Ethington, said McElhaney plans to plead not guilty at his arraignment next week. McElhaney contends he secured deals for Triad while working on his own time and as a licensed real estate broker in Texas was entitled to commissions, Ethington said. Ethington said the probe was prompted by land developers who were unsuccessful in their attempts to sell land to Triad. In a written statement, Triad said it became aware of possible irregularities related to the land purchases in 2001. The company said it conducted an internal investigation and turned its findings over to federal authorities. -- by Vince Galloro
Former Triad executive indicted over land sales
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