Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Topline: Georgia Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler disclosed Tuesday that millions of dollars more in stock were sold on her behalf while Congress was in crisis mode for coronavirus, the latest in a series of accusations that she and a group of senators engaged in insider trading to profit off the pandemic.
- Loeffler’s husband, Jeff Sprecher, is Intercontinental’s CEO, while she is a former executive; the company owns the New York Stock Exchange and other marketplaces.
- The disclosures, first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, were filed March 31, according to a government database of U.S. Senate financial disclosures, and happened after an intel briefing for senators on the outbreak.
- The couple also purchased over $200,000 in shares of DuPont de Nemours, a supplier of much-needed protective gear for medical workers fighting COVID-19.
- The filings also show that Loeffler and Sprecher sold shares in retailers T.J. Maxx and Lululemon.
- Loeffler previously sold between $1,275,000 and $3,100,000 worth of shares starting on January 24 through mid-February; she also made two purchases of shares belonging to Citrix, a company that makes teleworking software, and Oracle.
- Loeffler has previously denied that she was involved in making the stock sale decisions, and her office did not respond to a request for comment by Forbes.
- Loeffler “holds herself to high standards of ethics and transparency, including acting in accordance with both the letter and spirit of the law, which she has done at every step of her time in the Senate and in her lengthy career in financial services,” a spokesperson told the AJC.
Key background: Loeffler is one of four U.S. Senators—the others being Richard Burr, R-N.C., James Inhofe, R-Okla., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.— who, according to financial disclosures and reported by ProPublica, the Center for Responsive Politics and the Daily Beast, sold large amount of stock to avoid financial harm from the coronavirus pandemic. It is illegal for anyone, including sitting members of Congress, to use information not available to the public to inform trading decisions. But previous reports show the Senators downplayed the threat of the virus in public while their stocks were being sold.
What to watch for: The Justice Department is investigating whether senators engaged in insider trading, but it’s unclear if Loeffler, Feinstein or Inhofe are part of that investigation. Burr has separately asked for an ethics investigation, believing it will clear his name, and the FBI has reportedly reached out to him.