Four more GOP representatives on watch for potential stock trading violations

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After a year full of headlines about Congressional review of members’ trading practices, it looks like four other GOP officials may have broken laws to prevent insider trading on Capitol Hill – in addition to ‘a fifth Republican who already came under scrutiny for the same business activity earlier this year.

According to an analysis of financial reporting documents compiled by Insider, the four members of Congress – Reps John Rutherford of Florida, Rick Allen of Georgia, Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, and Victoria Spartz or Indiana – have not all filed documents for trading within the federal 45-day timeframe required under the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act of 2012.

In addition, Utah Rep Blake Moore missed the deadline by days on at least three deals – two involving electric car company Tesla and one involving Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba – the second stock market scandal. this year involving the freshman congressman.

The deals Allen did not report were by far the largest, worth up to $ 200,000 in total. During its analysis, Insider identified at least seven stocks that Georgia’s four-term representative listed in 2019, but disappeared in his 2020 disclosures – despite the fact that any sale would have to be disclosed.

Up to $ 65,000 in Walmart and Home Depot shares were also listed in Allen’s 2020 disclosures, but there was no record of corresponding purchases at any time during his tenure in Congress.


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Rutherford also missed the mandatory reporting deadline on at least five transactions made by her husband valued at up to $ 75,000, while Spartz did not disclose the purchase of up to $ 50,000 in Simon Property Group, Inc., a commercial real estate company.

“This transaction was carried out by the IRA of Rep. Spartz’s husband and reported within 45 days of the transaction, as Mr. Spartz was advised to do,” Spartz spokesperson Micah Bock said, to Insider. “Based on our review of the code, we asked the non-partisan House ethics committee to clarify the definition of ‘notification’ in order to remove any ambiguity. “

Rutherford spokesman Alex Lanfranconi also told Insider the congressman has rectified the situation and would not be fined for the situation.

“All late periodic transaction reports have been submitted in their entirety and accepted by the House, without penalty,” Lanfranconi said. “Representative Rutherford is in regular contact with the House Ethics Committee to confirm that all disclosure requirements are fully met.”

Kelly, for her part, reported a late purchase made by his wife over the summer worth up to $ 15,000 from Beauty Health Company, which Insider says is known for a skincare treatment. popular skin.

These stock market issues are one of the few points of synergy this year in a deeply divided Washintgon, with at least 34 members of Congress – in both parties and both houses – identified by news organizations as potentially violating the STOCK Act.

These include Sen. Tommy Tuberville and Reps Pat Fallon and Blake Moore, whom Salon reported earlier this year did not disclose dozens of deals worth up to $ 22 million. .

Salon also found in July that Fallon had dropped $ 250,000 in Microsoft stock just weeks before the company’s high-profile cloud computing deal with the Pentagon, valued at up to $ 10 billion, was abruptly scrapped. canceled. He sits on the newly-created Cybersecurity, Innovative Technologies and Information Systems Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, which oversees the deal in question.

“When members of Congress negotiate individual stocks and do not disclose those transactions, they are breaking the law and diminishing public confidence in government,” the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center wrote in ethics complaints against the three lawmakers .

Still, fines for market misconduct are incredibly low – often as low as $ 200 – and complaints rarely go to the Department of Justice or the Securities and Exchange Commission for criminal investigation.

“The recent prevalence of STOCK law violations in the House shows that the mere threat of a fine does not deter members of Congress from breaking the law; real accountability is needed, ”the CLC added in its complaints.

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