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story.lead_photo.caption In this Nov. 18, 2014, file photo, former billionaire Eike Batista, a Brazilian tycoon once named No. 7 on Forbes' list of the world's richest people, attends his hearing at a federal criminal court in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Pain management group to close clinics

One of the largest pain management groups in the Southeast is closing multiple clinics, including two in Arkansas, amid worsening financial troubles and a federal criminal investigation that targeted its former chief executive.

Based in Nashville, Tenn., CPS (Comprehensive Pain Specialists) opened in 2005 and quickly grew into a powerhouse, which at one time treated as many as 48,000 pain patients a month at more than 50 clinics in Tennessee and other states.

CPS did not respond to numerous requests for comment.

The Tennessean said Arkansas' only two clinics, in Jonesboro and Paragould, will close.

The doctor-owned company has endured a series of recent setbacks, including earlier clinic closures, pending lawsuits over alleged debts and the criminal case against former CEO John Davis on criminal kickback charges. He has pleaded innocent.

According to the company's website, CPS also operates 38 other clinics in seven states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee. The Tennessean reported Tuesday that all 21 clinics in the state would be closing by the end of the month.

-- Bloomberg News

Tyson, others face claims of price fixing

Supervalu Inc. and other supermarket and restaurant chains alleged that chicken producers conspired to limit supplies and inflate prices, adding to antitrust lawsuits against companies including Tyson Foods Inc. and Pilgrim's Pride Corp.

Closely held grocery chains Publix Super Markets Inc., Wakfern Food Corp., Associated Grocers of the South Inc. and Meijer Inc., along with OSI Restaurant Partners LLC, sued the poultry producers Tuesday in federal court in Chicago. The complaint cites chicken purchases from 2008 to 2016.

Kroger Co., the largest U.S. supermarket chain, filed a suit dated June 29 with Albertsons Cos. and Hy-Vee Inc. dated June 29 in Chicago making similar claims against chicken producers.

"We are disappointed by the recent case filed by our customers," Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman said Tuesday in an email. "The lawsuits are unfounded, and we are determined to defend against these baseless claims."

Tyson's shares rose 0.6 percent to $66.83. Pilgrim's Pride climbed 0.5 percent to $19.60. Supervalu advanced 0.9 percent to $21.32.

-- Bloomberg News

Ford urged to recall Explorer over fumes

DETROIT -- A nonprofit auto safety advocacy group is asking Ford to recall 1.35 million Explorer SUVs because of continued complaints of exhaust fumes in the passenger compartments.

The Center for Auto Safety says it found 44 complaints in a government database about fumes and potential carbon monoxide after owners had taken Explorers in for free repairs in a Ford customer service campaign that started last October.

The center made its request in a letter to Ford CEO Jim Hackett this week.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been investigating the problem for two years in police and civilian Explorers from the 2011 through 2017 model years, but it has not reached a conclusion.

-- The Associated Press

EEOC sues Halliburton over harassment

Some Halliburton Co. supervisors and co-workers harassed two Muslim employees, according to a lawsuit filed against the world's biggest fracking provider by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Halliburton Energy Services Inc., a unit of the Houston-based contractor, created a hostile work environment by subjecting them to harassment based on their national origin and religion, according to the suit. The company also retaliated against one of the two workers by firing him for reporting the mistreatment, the commission said Tuesday in a statement.

Hassan Snoubar, a U.S. citizen of Syrian origin, began working for the company around August 2012 primarily in the Texas towns of Odessa and Kilgore as an operator-assistant oilfield worker, the EEOC said. The other named worker is Mir Ali, who is of Indian origin. Ali also was subjected to taunts and name calling, the commission alleges.

Emily Mir, a spokesman for the company, declined to comment on the suit.

The complaint, filed in Dallas federal court, alleges that Snoubar was subjected to taunts and called names such as "terrorist" and "camel jockey." He reported the harassment to supervisors, but the company "failed or refused" to take remedial action, the lawsuit states.

-- Bloomberg News

Brazilian guilty of corruption, bribery

SAO PAULO -- A Brazilian businessman famous for amassing and then losing a multi-billion-dollar fortune has been convicted of corruption and money laundering and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Eike Batista was found guilty of paying around $16.5 million in bribes to the then-Rio de Janeiro governor to gain an advantage in government contracts. Ex-Gov. Sergio Cabral was also convicted -- one of several corruption cases against Cabral, who is already in prison.

A federal judge in Rio de Janeiro signed the decision on Monday but it did not become widely known until Tuesday. Fernando Martins, a lawyer for Batista, complained the case against his client was vague and said that he would appeal, according to Brazilian media. The court said he will not begin serving his sentence while the appeal is pending. A lawyer for Cabral also said he would appeal.

The case is part an investigation into the laundering and hiding of about $100 million in foreign bank accounts. The probe is one branch of Brazil's massive Car Wash investigation into the systematic trading of bribes and illegal campaign contributions to politicians in exchange for favors for companies.

An oil and mining magnate, Eike was once Brazil's richest man and was listed by Forbes magazine in 2011 as the world's eighth-richest person. By 2013, his fortune had crumbled amid debts in his energy sector companies.

-- The Associated Press

Business on 07/04/2018

Print Headline: Pain management group to close clinics Tyson, others face claims of price fixing Ford urged to recall Explorer over fumes EEOC sues Halliburton over harassment Brailian guilty of corruption, bribery

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