Senator Kelly Loeffler, former Bakkt CEO, sold millions in stock before coronavirus-induced market crash

Quick Take

  • Senator Kelly Loeffler, former Bakkt CEO, sold off millions in stock before the recent market crash
  • Loeffler said: “This is a ridiculous and baseless attack. I do not make investment decisions for my portfolio.”
  • Senator Richard Burr is also said to have sold between $500,000 and $1.5 million in stock last month

Senator Kelly Loeffler (Republican-Georgia) sold off millions in stock ahead of the recent coronavirus-induced market crash, according to financial disclosures.

The disclosures reveal that Loeffler, former CEO of Bakkt, reported the first sale of stock on January 24, the same day her committee, the Senate Health Committee, hosted a private meeting on coronavirus. The Daily Beast first reported the news.

The first sale transaction was of stock Resideo Technologies, worth between $50,001 and $100,000. The company’s stock price has declined by more than half since then.

Other sale transactions include stocks of Comcast Corporation, Keysight Technologies, Ross Stores and other companies - worth between $1,275,000 and $3,100,000.

Interestingly, Loeffler initially reported many of these sale transactions in the name of her husband - Jeffrey Sprecher, founder, chairman, and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange and chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. Last week, i.e. on March 12, she amended the report to note that most of them were jointly owned.

The amended report lists a total of 22 transactions. There is another periodic transaction report, also filed on March 12, which shows a total of 25 trades - 23 sale transactions and only two purchase transactions. Many stocks that Loeffler reported selling have lost their value in the recent market crash.

“This is a ridiculous and baseless attack. I do not make investment decisions for my portfolio. Investment decisions are made by multiple third-party advisors without my or my husband’s knowledge or involvement,” Loeffler tweeted late Thursday night.

“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,” she added.

Loeffler was appointed as a U.S. Senator to serve Georgia in January. Since then, she has faced scrutiny over possible conflicts of interest. Loeffler’s committee oversees the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which regulates her husband’s company, Intercontinental Exchange.

Notably, at the time of her appointment, Loeffler requested an extension for filing the annual financial disclosures report. As a result, a 90-day extension was granted, and a full accounting of her finances will be made public on May 5.

Loeffler is the second senator found to have sold millions in stocks weeks ahead of the market crash. Senator Richard Burr (Republican-North Carolina), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, reportedly sold between $500,000 and $1.5 million in stock last month.

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