Following major accusations of insider stock trading during the coronavirus-induced market crash, Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), the former CEO of Bakkt, is liquidating her holdings along with her husband.
In an April 8 tweet, Loeffler said that she and her husband Jeffrey Sprecher, CEO of ICE, which is the company that owns Bitcoin (BTC) options contracts regulator Bakkt, are liquidating their holdings in managed accounts to focus on tackling the coronavirus situation.
“I’m doing it because the issue isn’t worth the distraction”
The former CEO of Bakkt has also published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, emphasizing that her action is not caused by Senate requirements but rather a strong commitment to defeat the coronavirus.
Loeffler added that she will report all transactions in the public periodic transaction report:
“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. Although Senate ethics rules don’t require it, my husband and I are liquidating our holdings in managed accounts and moving into exchange-traded funds and mutual funds. I will report these exiting transactions in the periodic transaction report I file later this month.”
Accusations of a coronavirus insider trading scandal
As reported by Cointelegraph, Loeffler came under fire on March 20, with reports claiming that she sold millions in stock within days of a private Senate Health Committee hearing on the novel coronavirus.
American political commentator Keith Boykin explicitly accused Loeffler of being involved in a “coronavirus insider trading scandal” alongside other Senators including Richard Burr, Jim Inhofe and Ron Johnson.
Loeffler rejected the accusations of improper trading, claiming that she is not directly involved in decisions regarding her portfolio. As reported, the former Bakkt CEO explained that a third party person or set of advisors is tasked with making those decisions.
Loeffler was delaying her financial disclosure after swearing into the Senate
Loeffler was sworn into the United States Senate on Jan. 6, 2020 after serving as CEO of digital asset exchange Bakkt for about a year. After taking her seat in the Senate, Loeffler was reportedly delaying her Financial Disclosure Report. The report is a basic requirement for all officials that reveals potential conflicts of interest by identifying asset holdings.