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Man pleads not guilty to helping former Steelers doctor sell steroids, hormones

| Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, 1:01 p.m.

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 bbowling@tribweb.com.

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