Kelly Loeffler, the Republican Senator from the state of Georgia, has reached a compromise on the improper trading charge leveled against her.
In a tweet shared earlier this week, the Senator confirmed that she and her husband, Intercontinental Exchange Chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Sprecher, will be liquidating the money they have in several companies, as they remain focused on tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
My husband & I are liquidating our holdings in managed accounts. I’m not doing this because I have to. I'm doing it to move beyond the distraction and put the focus back on the essential work we must all do to defeat the coronavirus. https://t.co/pdagq4E6Uf #gapol #gasen
— Kelly Loeffler (@KLoeffler) April 8, 2020
Plain Old Luck or Proper Planning?
The case is coming after the couple drew the ire of many for some of their recent trading practices in the wake of the pandemic. Loeffler, who served as the chief executive of crypto institutional investment platform Bakkt before joining the Senate, came under fire last month after a report from The Daily Beast confirmed that she and her husband had used privileged information to make trades.
As the report explained at the time, the Senator sold up to 27 stocks that were jointly owned by her and Sprecher. The sales were reportedly initiated in February, after a Senate Health Committee on the coronavirus held a meeting to determine the extent to which the virus could affect the country.
The report confirmed that the couple had ordered the trades on the same day as the meeting, thus giving rise to speculations that she had used some of the information she got to make the trades.
For instance, one of the companies whose stocks she liquidated was Resideo Technologies. Between February and the date of The Daily Beast’s report, the company’s stock had fallen by a staggering 50 percent.
They went on to make several purchases, with the most prominent being Citrix – a firm that provides distributed workforce solutions. The firm’s website specifically claimed that they were focused on helping companies to stay operational in the wake of the coronavirus.
The Daily Beast confirmed that the couple had made between $100,000 and $250,000 in investments in the company alone.
The Backlash Forced Kelly’s Hand
Loeffler eventually came out to decry any rumors of insider or improper trading, explaining that she doesn’t involve herself in every trade that bears her name.
“I’m not involved in the decision around buying and selling, there is a range of different decisions made every day with regard to my savings and 401K portfolios that I am not involved in,” she explained, adding that she only gets informed about the trades on her portfolios after they occur.
She also appeared on the Tucker Carlson Show on Fox News, where she explained that a third-party individual or set of advisors make the decisions on her portfolio. She once again reiterated that she doesn’t involve herself in the trades, although she gets notified whenever trades are logged.
However, people weren’t particularly buying it. Many pointed to the fact that she had touted the economy’s strength, while she was making moves to position herself and move away from several traditional stocks.
Regardless, she’s confirmed that all positions will be liquidated, explaining in the tweet that she’s doing so to take the spotlight off herself and back on the virus that’s threatening the country.
“I am taking action to move beyond the distraction and put the focus back on the essential work we must all do to defeat the coronavirus,” she said, adding that she and her husband will now be investing in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)