Man pleads not guilty to helping former Steelers doctor sell steroids, hormones
A Brentwood man charged with helping a former Steelers doctor sell steroids and hormones pleaded not guilty on Thursday in federal court.
James Hatzimbes, 42, scheduled “steroid clinics” nearly every other Saturday so Dr. Richard Rydze, 62, of the Strip District could prescribe hormones or steroids to treat people for nonexistent ailments, prosecutors said.
The clinics were held at Hatzimbes' HSE Salon and Wellness Center, also known as HSE Anti-Aging & Wellness Center, in Overbrook, and the two men split the $75 fee that each client paid, prosecutors said.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Maureen Kelly released Hatzimbes on a $50,000 unsecured bond. Hatzimbes declined to comment after the hearing. His lawyer, Charles Porter, said it was too early to comment.
“We will investigate their allegations and defend them accordingly,” he said.
A federal grand jury indicted Hatzimbes on six counts related to the steroid and hormone trafficking. Rydze was charge with 185 counts of health care fraud, obstruction of justice and trafficking in anabolic steroids, human growth hormones and painkillers.
Rydze pleaded not guilty and is on home confinement on a $100,000 unsecured bond.
He was on the Steelers medical staff for 22 years until 2007 when he first came under investigation for hormone trafficking.
A third defendant, William Zipf, 56, made his initial appearance before Kelly on Thursday. Zipf is charged on several counts related to Rydze's narcotics trafficking.
Zipf would obtain prescriptions from Rydze under several names and fill them at different pharmacies to hide the number of painkillers he was buying, prosecutors said.
Zipf is serving three years and one month in federal prison on an unrelated cocaine trafficking conviction. He pleaded guilty in March in federal court in Wheeling to paying an undercover officer $124,600 and a pair of diamond earrings to buy 5 kilograms of cocaine.
Kelly ordered Zipf held without bail until his arraignment and detention hearing on Tuesday.
Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Tiny black weevils booming in W.Pa.
- Pirates notebook: Taillon headed for surgery, Richard traded
- Russian winger Plotnikov could join Penguins in August
- Pirates can’t overcome long rain delay, Indians in interleague setback
- America’s path to freedom reflected in region’s numerous historic sites
- New Penguin Kessel’s shot is what makes him special
- Ex-teammates say Kessel unfairly criticized
- Facelift approved for historic La Rose building in Greensburg
- ‘Wax weed’ worries authorities
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Indians, July 4, 2015
- Gorman: Barnstorming tour bigger than baseball