Senator Kelly Loeffler, former CEO of the Intercontinental Exchange’s cryptocurrency-venture Bakkt, has been under fire for selling millions of dollars worth of stock ahead of the recent market crash induced by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report published by The Daily Beast, based on disclosures from Loeffler, the first sale of stock was on January 24, the same day her committee, the Senate Health Committee, hosted a private meeting on the coronavirus outbreak, which included the CDC director and the head of the National Institutes of Health of the United States.
The first transaction was a sale of Resideo Technologies, of between $50,001 and $100,000 worth of stock. The company’s stock price has since fallen my more than half, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost about one-third of its value over the COVID-19 pandemic.
In total, Loeffler reportedly made 29 stock transactions through mid-February, with only two being purchases. One of these purchases, The Daily Beast points out, was for stock worth between $100,000 and $250,000 in Citrix, a tech firm offering teleworking software.
In total, Loeffler’s sales totaled between $1.27 million and $3.1 million. The senator initially reported the sales in the name of her husband – Jeffrey Sprecher, founder and CEO of the Intercontinental Exchange and chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. The report was amended last week, on March 12.
The former Bakkt CEO has also been accused of downplaying the public health and financial threats the coronavirus poses, after selling her holdings. In separate tweets, Loefflerp claimed “Democrats have dangerously and intentionally misled the American people on #Coronavirus readiness,” and that President Donald Trump and his administration were “doing a great job working to keep Americans healthy & safe.
Responding to the accusation Loeffler tweeted out on social media she was informed of the transactions on February 16, three weeks after they were made by “multiple-third party advisors” without her knowledge.
As confirmed in the periodic transaction report to Senate Ethics, I was informed of these purchases and sales on February 16, 2020 — three weeks after they were made.
— Senator Kelly Loeffler (@SenatorLoeffler) March 20, 2020
The former CEO of Bakkt was appointed as a U.S. Senator to serve Georgia in January, but has been facing scrutiny over possible conflicts of interest, as her committee oversees the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which regulates her husband’s Intercontinental Exchange.
A report from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that Senator Richard burr, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, has also sold stock in February, shortly before markets tanked. Burr sold between $500,000 and $1.5 million in stock.
Featured image via Unsplash.