Kelly Loeffler, the recently-appointed US Senator who used to work as the chief executive of Bakkt, is facing allegations of insider trading. Her husband Jeffrey Sprecher, the founder of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), is included in the controversy as well.
As per the report of Daily Beast, the couple made several transactions following the January 24 private briefing of the US Senate about the coronavirus outbreak. With 29 confirmed dealings in records, the publication noted that Loeffler and Sprecher have sold between $1 million to over $3 million in stocks. Not long after the transactions had been completed, the market suffered a massive crash.
The sudden offloading of stocks worth millions of dollars is impossible to go off unnoticed. Industry commentators and analysts were quick to claim that something fishy is going on. Notably, the senate had a meeting about the possible implications of the escalating global crisis. That same day, Loeffler announced some stocks for sale. Too much of a coincidence, they said.
Aside from selling stocks, Loeffler reportedly invested in different companies. However, what’s suspicious is that she puts a total of $350,000 to businesses that offer teleworking software and other tools that support remote work. It’s worth noting that as of press time; more than half of the population in the world is being encouraged to work from home –a major opportunity for companies such as Citrix and Zoom.
When the allegations about insider trading broke out, Loeffler had been quick to defend herself as well as her husband on Twitter. Notably, all of the transactions have been executed according to company policies by their financial and third-party advisors. She emphasized that the allegations are baseless and ridiculous since everything happened without their involvement. She maintained her innocence, claiming that she was informed about the transactions only three weeks after the Senate’s COVID-19 briefing.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time the former Bakkt CEO had to face criticisms about conflict of interests. Prior to her appointment as a US Senator, many had voiced out that she might take advantage of the position to protect her family’s assets and fortune. The announcement that Loeffler would serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee even made things worse. Notably, it is the same commission that oversees that US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the organization that is responsible for regulating the majority of her husband’s businesses and transactions.