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BUSTED: Three members of Congress violate federal financial law

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Two Republicans and one Democratic member of Congress violated federal law with late financial disclosures — as much as a year late in some cases, according to new federal filings.

Reps. Buddy Carter (R-GA) and Brandon Williams (R-NY) appear to be new violators of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), a repeated offender, is late disclosing a stock trade for a third time.

Williams was the most tardy in reporting the partial sale of stock in pharmaceutical company, Visant Medical, nearly 16 months late, according to his July 2 financial disclosure.

Members of Congress are required to publicly report — within 45 days — most purchases, sales and exchanges of stocks, bonds, commodity futures, securities and cryptocurrencies as outlined by the STOCK Act, a law passed by Congress in 2012 to defend against conflicts of interest, curb insider trading and enhance public transparency.

The transaction, valued between $1,001 and $15,000, was described on the report as a “shareholder distribution as a result of Visant Medical merger with Amring Pharmaceuticals.”

Carter was more than eight months late disclosing the sale of government securities for the Atlanta, Ga., Development Authority, valued between $15,001 and $50,000, as a subholding of brokerage and investment banking firm Stifel, according to a June 28 congressional filing.

Wasserman Schultz violated the STOCK Act again on July 1 when she reported five months late a dependent child’s sale of stock in First Trust MLP and Energy Income Fund.

The sale from Dec. 18 was valued between $1,001 and $15,000.

Wasserman Schultz, the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, was previously seven months late disclosing a family stock sale on July 11, 2023, and she separately was again seven months late in discussing $60,000 of her and her dependent child’s stock purchases in telecommunications provider Westell Technologies in July 2021, Business Insider reported.

The congressional offices for Williams, Carter and Wasserman Schultz all did not respond to Raw Story’s request.

Rep. Max Miller (R-OH) appeared to violate the STOCK Act when reporting three hedge fund transactions from early 2023 on his June 28 financial disclosure; however, Tiffany Boguslawski, a spokesperson for Miller, said the transactions were “inadvertently submitted” while filing the congressman’s annual report.

Raw Story confirmed that the three transactions were properly reported in February 2023 and March 2023.

“We’ve notified the Clerk’s office and House ethics counsel that the June 28 submission was inadvertent,” Boguslawski told Raw Story. “Rep. Miller complies with all ethics and reporting obligations and insists that those working for him are also fully compliant.”

Epidemic of violations

Williams and Carter join Wasserman Schultz on a growing list of legislators — Republicans and Democrats alike — who have violated the STOCK Act.

Raw Story has now identified at least 51 members of the 118th Congress, including Williams and Carter, who have violated the law.

Numerous bills have been introduced over the past two congressional sessions that would at least in part ban stock trading by members of Congress and their spouses or require stricter punishments for violators.

Such bills include the Ban Conflicted Trading Act, the Ban Stock Trading for Government Officials Act, the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act, the TRUST in Congress Act and the Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act.

None of these bills have yet been voted upon by either the U.S. House or Senate.

Read More: BUSTED: Three members of Congress violate federal financial law

2024-07-09 22:55:00

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