More than a dozen states are ready to probe its business practices, but Caremark ( CMX) could have at least one prosecutor on its side. The Nashville, Tenn.-based pharmacy benefit manager said Friday that 19 state attorneys general are
seeking documents under their consumer protection laws . The news drove Caremark shares down 4% in heavy trading. But another matter is raising the eyebrows of some Caremark watchers: the company's ties to politicians in Florida, including the state attorney general's office. David Moye, assistant deputy general for health care fraud and economic crimes in Florida, until last year practiced for the very law firm that serves as Caremark's outside counsel. It was Moye who, in an unusual move, last month intervened in a whistleblower lawsuit against Caremark -- at the company's request. The whistleblowers, unlike the state, have accused Caremark of defrauding and even endangering Florida customers. It isn't clear whether Moye personally represented Caremark while at the firm, Fowler White Boggs Banker, and some legal experts see no glaring conflict in his past work there. For its part, the attorney general's office has shrugged off questions about its actions, simply saying it is better suited to lead the case than the whistleblowers themselves. Even so, some Caremark critics are questioning Moye's motives. Michael Leonard, a Chicago attorney representing the Caremark whistleblowers, points out that Moye's motion failed to include a single allegation against Caremark and was reviewed -- by the company's law firm -- before it was ever filed. "The fact that he came from that same law firm is troubling and creates at least an appearance that Caremark is receiving special treatment," the lawyer says. A Florida legal expert was puzzled by the intervention. "I've never heard of an attorney general intervening in such a way that it would undercut the whistleblowers," says Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky, a professor at the University of Florida College of Law. "Normally, you would just stay out of it."