Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler is one of the U.S. senators who reportedly sold off millions of dollars of stock holdings following a private senators briefing from administration officials on the coronavirus COVID-19, the Daily Beast reported.
Loeffler (R-Ga.) was appointed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to replace a retired senator. She denied that she sold off the stocks, tweeting that it was handled by “multiple third-party advisors.” It’s illegal for members of Congress to trade based off of information learned through their official duties and not given to the public.
Dream’s Loeffler reportedly sells off millions in stock
Loeffler was sworn in on Jan. 6. On Jan. 24, she was in a private Senate Health Committee briefing from administration officials on the coronavirus COVID-19. It has since been labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization and has prompted closures and lockdowns.
The meeting included Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who urged sports leagues to not allow fans into the stands shortly before all games were called off.
Appreciate today’s briefing from the President’s top health officials on the novel coronavirus outbreak. These men and women are working around the clock to keep our country safe and healthy. #gapol https://t.co/5866TrrEFc— Senator Kelly Loeffler (@SenatorLoeffler) January 25, 2020
That same day, per the Daily Beast, stocks she owned were sold. In all, there were 29 stock transactions made by Loeffler and her husband, Jeff Sprecher, through mid-February and all but two were sales. Sprecher’s company owns the New York Stock Exchange. They have a fortune estimated at $500 million.
The first transaction was for stock in Resideo Technologies valued between $50,001 and $100,000, per the Daily Beast. That price has fallen by more than half.
The two purchases were of stock in Citrix at a price between $100,000 and $250,000, per the report. The company offers telemarking software and with more people working from home, the stock price has risen.
In total, they moved up to $3.1 million, per the Daily Beast, and there had been no stock transaction between her appointment and Jan. 23.
Loeffler: moves made without our knowledge
Loeffler’s camp did not comment to the Daily Beast. Late Thursday she said on Twitter it was a “ridiculous and baseless attack.”
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
“I do not make investment decisions for my portfolio,” she wrote. “Investment decisions are made by multiple third-party advisors without my or my husband’s knowledge or involvement.
“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.”
Sen. Richard Burr was also under fire on Thursday after NPR reported that he had warned people in private how dire the situation would get and ProPublica released a report that he had sold personal stocks worth up to $1.72 million on a single day in February. More senators are under fire Friday for reportedly doing the same, Time reported.
Loeffler had already been criticized for potential conflicts of interest when she was appointed. Ethics experts in Washington told the Atlanta Journal Constitution there were “few, if any” precedents for the situation.
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