BREAKING: SEC Issues Warning Against Coronavirus Insider Trading After Loeffler Stock Sell-Off Scandal

March 23, 2020

After Loeffler and her husband were caught dumping stocks following private all-Senate briefing, SEC issues warning while refusing to say whether Loeffler is under investigation

ATLANTA — Today the SEC “issued a sharp warning” for investors against using “nonpublic information” on the coronavirus outbreak “and to comply with the prohibitions on illegal securities trading” — coming just days after bombshell reports that Senator Kelly Loeffler and her husband NYSE Chairman Jeffrey Sprecher dumped millions worth of stock following a private all-Senate briefing.

In addition to their warning, the SEC also “declined to comment when asked if the new statement was spurred by last week’s news about recent trading by Sprecher and Loeffler, and whether the SEC is investigating those trades.”

Loeffler has already faced multiple calls from political leaders and the editorial boards of the New York Times and the Savannah Morning News to be investigated at the highest level as a result of her scandal, “and, if warranted, [to] refer relevant findings for criminal prosecution.” 

Loeffler and Sprecher sold off millions worth of stock following her private briefing on the coronavirus — but she publicly insisted “the economy is strong” in response to the threat of the virus.

Read more about this shocking warning from the SEC following Loeffler and Sprecher’s scandal: 

CNBC: SEC warns on coronavirus insider trading after stock sales by Sen. Loeffler and NYSE chief husband raise eyebrows

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday issued a sharp warning against trading on non-public information related to the coronavirus —  a caution that came days after news of recent stock sales by the CEO of the New York Stock Exchange and his senator wife sparked widespread criticism and calls for investigations.
  • Those trades, involving sales of up to $3 million worth of securities, came in the weeks before stock market indices dramatically fell in value due to the coronavirus pandemic, and on the heels of a private, all-senators briefing on the virus outbreak from Trump administration officials that Loeffler attended on Jan. 24.
  • “In these dynamic circumstances, corporate insiders are regularly learning new material nonpublic information that may hold an even greater value than under normal circumstances,” the directors, Stephanie Avakian and Steven Pelkin said.
  • “Those with such access – including, for example, directors, officers, employees, and consultants and other outside professionals – should be mindful of their obligations to keep this information confidential and to comply with the prohibitions on illegal securities trading,” the directors wrote.
  • “Trading in a company’s securities on the basis of inside information may violate the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.”
  • The SEC declined to comment when asked if the new statement was spurred by last week’s news about recent trading by Sprecher and Loeffler, and whether the SEC is investigating those trades.
  • Good government groups have filed complaints with various entities asking for investigations into Loeffler’s trading, as well as into stock sales by several other senators on the heels of the coronavirus briefing: Richard Burr, R-N.C., Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., and James Inhofe, R-Okla.
  • The group Common Cause said Friday it had filed complaints with the SEC, Justice Department and Senate Ethics Committee “calling for immediate investigations” of Loeffler, Burr, Feinstein and Inhofe “for possible violations of the STOCK Act and insider trading laws.”
  • Another group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington,  filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee asking for probes of Loeffler and Burr for possible violations of the STOCK Act.


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