Report: Richard Burr’s Brother-in-Law Dumped Stock Minutes After Their 50-Second Chat

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    Report: Richard Burr’s Brother-in-Law Dumped Stock Minutes After Their 50-Second Chat

    It sure sounds like the duo acted on inside information in the early days of the pandemic. 

    As you probably do not recall because so many other traumatic things have happened in the intervening year and half, back in February 2020, when the novel coronavirus was spreading across the country, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr cowrote an op-ed insisting that Americans had little to worry about because, he claimed, “the United States today is better prepared than ever before to face emerging public health threats, like the coronavirus.” A couple other things Burr got up to that month? Warning “a small group of well-connected constituents” that the virus was “much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history,” and dumping about $1.65 million in stocks shortly before the market tanked, apparently in response to the realization that the COVID-19 situation was going to be very, very bad.

    After news of Burr’s activities went public, the senator from North Carolina denied any wrongdoing, insisted that reporting to the contrary was a “tabloid-style hit piece,” and swore that the information on which he based his trade was public knowledge. Yet according to a new investigation, the real story is a lot shadier. Per CNBC:

    Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina and his brother-in-law, who is chairman of an independent federal agency, spoke on the phone shortly before both men sold off stocks weeks ahead of national COVID lockdowns in 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a civil court filing. The filing comes as the SEC continues to investigate whether Burr, a Republican, and his brother-in-law Gerald Fauth sold the stocks on the basis of material nonpublic information that Burr obtained as part of his job. Members of Congress are barred from trading on nonpublic information they receive as a result of their positions as lawmakers.

    The SEC, in a new filing in its civil case, said that Burr, at 8:45 a.m. on Feb. 13, 2020, called his stockbroker to sell more than $1.65 million worth of stock, “all but one of the equities in his and his wife’s joint individual retirement account…portfolio.” At 11:32 a.m. that day, Burr called Fauth’s cell phone, according to the filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. “The call lasted 50 seconds.”

    At 11:33 a.m., a minute or less later, Fauth called his primary stockbroker’s landline, the SEC said. After failing to reach his first broker, Fauth called a second broker within two minutes and “directed her to sell several stocks in his wife’s account,” the filing reveals.

    According to ProPublica, Fauth ended up selling between $97,000 and $280,000 worth of shares in six companies, “including several that were hit particularly hard in the market swoon and economic downturn.” The SEC has asked a judge to force Fauth to comply with a subpoena that was issued in March 2020; thus far, Fauth has reportedly claimed that a medical condition prevents him from cooperating, despite the fact that, as ProPublica notes, “he has been healthy enough to continue his duties at the National Mediation Board.”

    In its filings, according to ProPublica, the SEC accused Burr’s brother-in-law of waging “a relentless battle” to evade the subpoena. Per CNBC, the agency also wrote that “Among other things, the Commission is investigating whether Senator Richard Burr…sold stocks on the basis of material nonpublic information on February 13, 2020, in violation of the federal securities laws, including the STOCK Act, a statute passed by the U.S. Congress in 2012 to prohibit its members from using nonpublic information derived from their positions for their personal benefit.” The SEC added that it is also investigating “whether [Fauth] and his wife, Mary Fauth, sold securities on the same day on the basis of material nonpublic information supplied to them by Senator Burr in violation of his duties.”

    Burr’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to ProPublica’s request for comment, nor did Fauth’s lawyer.  Fauth himself hung up on a ProPublica reporter. In the weeks following Burr’s trades, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 30% of its value.

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    Mitt Romney, Kyrsten Sinema team up to ruin Ted Lasso

    Ted Lasso is a beloved character on a show about European football that makes everyone who watches it happy. Mitt Romney and Kyrsten Sinema are two senators who refuse to raise taxes on corporations or billionaires in order to provide a bare minimum social safety net for millions of Americans, and in the case of the former, once reportedly tied the family dog in a pet carrier to the roof of a car for a 12-hour journey.

    In other words, these two have absolutely nothing in common with the individuals portrayed by Jason Sudeikis and Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso’s fictional boss, or the show’s general spirit of kindness. Ted, for instance, probably wouldn’t tell a sick player to suck it up and get on the pitch or lose his job, while Rebecca would no doubt let Keeley take adequate time to recover after giving birth, if the T.L. gods sought fit to bless us with a Jones-Kent baby. And yet, someone in one of their congressional offices apparently thought it would be hilarious for the lawmakers to dress up as the AFC Richmond coach and owner, and on Thursday, we were treated to the cringeworthy results:

    Romney followed up the initial GIF with a photo referring to the biscuits Ted delivers to Rebecca daily and another one of him under a “BELIEVE” sign à la the one in Richmond’s locker room.

    Anyway, we can’t wait to see what this duo dresses up as on the actual day. A couple of lawmakers who actually care about their constituents? Or would that be too crazy?

    It’s not a great day to be Andrew Cuomo

    To be fair, it hasn‘t been a great day to be Andrew Cuomo in some time, but it’s extra not-great today:

    A misdemeanor complaint was filed Thursday against former New York governor Andrew M. Cuomo accusing him of forcibly touching a woman in the governor’s executive mansion last year. A spokesman for the New York courts said Thursday that the complaint was filed in Albany City Court.

    Cuomo (D) resigned in August in the face of a likely impeachment by the New York Assembly after a state investigation found that he sexually harassed 11 women and oversaw an unlawful attempt to exact retribution against one of his accusers. “A Misdemeanor Complaint against former Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has been filed in Albany City Court,” state courts spokesman Lucian Chalfen said in a statement. “As this is a sex crime, a redacted complaint will be available shortly.”

    According to The Washington Post, the complaint states that the alleged incident took place in December 2020, and says that Cuomo “did intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly place his hand under the blouse shirt of the victim” and “onto her intimate body part.” “Specifically,” it continues, Cuomo allegedly touched the victim’s “left breast for the purposes of degrading and gratifying his sexual desires, all contrary to the provisions of the statute in such case made and provided.” While the alleged victim’s name was redacted from the complaint, Brittany Commisso, a former executive assistant to Cuomo, publicly accused him of similar behavior and filed a criminal complaint against him. A spokesman for Cuomo declined the Post’s request for comment on the news.

    Published at Thu, 28 Oct 2021 21:59:12 +0000

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/10/richard-burr-brother-in-law-insider-trading

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