The House panel investigating StemExpress sidestepped the fetal harvesting firm’s refusal to turn over financial documents Thursday by issuing subpoenas to the company’s accounting firm and bank.
Republicans on the panel determined StemExpress potentially violated federal law by profiting from the sale of aborted fetus parts, but the firm so far hasn’t complied with a subpoena for a mountain of financial and communications documents that would further the investigation. After reiterating the demand for the documents this week, the panel subpoenaed the firm’s accountant and bank, Scinto Group, LLP and Five Star Bancorp, for the documents.
Both entities have been ordered to hand over all documents related to StemExpress, such as invoices and balances sheets, by next Wednesday, May 11. The panel is trying to get a comprehensive look at StemExpress’s accounting practices and documents, as well as detailed information on how the price of fetal tissue is determined. (RELATED: Two Sickening Charts Show Explosive Growth Of Fetal Tissue Buyer)
“We have learned that not only is this investigation warranted, but further examination of accounting records is needed to get the complete facts about what was actually going on,” Republican Rep. [crscore]Marsha Blackburn[/crscore], panel chair, said in a statement announcing the newest subpoenas Thursday.
The panel is investigating the fetal tissue industry after a series of videos released last year exposed Planned Parenthood’s dealings in fetal parts with buyers such as StemExpress. The for-profit company grew explosively after CEO Cate Dyer founded it in 2010 with just $10,000, going from a tiny startup to a booming company with scores of abortion clinics to work with and $4.5 million in revenue in 2014.
The February subpoena ordered StemExpress to turn over a mountain of documents, including bank statements, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, copies of tax returns and internal and external communications. Blackburn has threatened to use “all means necessary” to force StemExpress to hand over the documents. (RELATED: This Chart Breaking Down The Price Of Fetal Parts Is Obscene)
StemExpress has maintained it is cooperating in a reasonable manner and promised a “comprehensive” response to the request for documents. The firm takes issue with the breadth and depth of the request however, although the panel does have wide subpoena powers. Dyer said in a recent statement the committee “misrepresents” the firm’s efforts to cooperate, and has noted the firm did turn over thousands of pages of documents to the panel.
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