Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia is one of a group of US senators now facing scrutiny over alleged insider trading that took place shortly before the United States was gripped by the coronavirus pandemic that is currently wreaking havoc on the stock market. After the initial reports surfaced some time ago, more detailed accounts of Loeffler's recent stock trades were reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and appear to be even more controversial than those originally reported.
The AJC calls the largest of Loeffler's trades the "most politically problematic" as well: a total of $18.7 million worth of sales in three different transactions between late February and early March. These sales were of stock in Intercontinental Exchange, the company that owns the New York Stock Exchange, and of which Loeffler is a former executive – and her husband, Jeff Sprecher, is the company's CEO.
The more recent disclosures also show both Loeffler and Sprecher selling shares in retailers like Lululemon and T.J. Maxx and even buying up shares in a company that makes medically protective garments that can shield wearers from viruses like the coronavirus.
Loeffler continues to deny any wrongdoing in the matter, and claims that she and her husband are both disconnected from the day-to-day trades in their stock portfolio, which she says makes the allegation that she used inside information acquired as a US senator to make the trades impossible. Her campaign also claims that the $18.7 million in ICE stock sales were prearranged as part of Sprecher's compensation as CEO.
The report points out that not all of Loeffler's stock trades are as suspiciously timed as the most damning ones. They sold a reported $111,486 worth of stock in Facebook, which as a social media company isn't likely to see as steep a drop as so many Americans are stuck at home. But it also points out that, politically at least, details of individual sales of stock will be less important than the overall perception that Loeffler and other senators may have used their inside information to profit by what they knew was an encroaching disaster.
Loeffler continues to face heavy criticism for the transactions, as does North Carolina Senator Richard Burr. Other senators whose stock market activities are now under scrutiny are David Perdue of Georgia, Dianne Feinstein of California, and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma. And all but the latter are now reportedly being investigated by the Justice Department.