Republican North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr called his brother-in-law, a Trump administration appointee, shortly before both men sold large amounts of stocks ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, new court filings from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) allege.
Burr sold $1.6 million in stocks in February 2020 following a senators-only meeting on the projected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and his brother-in-law, Gerald Fauth, the chairman of the National Mediation Board, sold between $97,000 and $280,000. Fauth made the trades immediately after speaking with Burr on the phone for about 50 seconds, according to the filings, first reported Thursday by ProPublica.
BREAKING: SEC says Sen. Richard Burr had material nonpublic info re COVID economic impact.
After Burr dumped stock, he called his brother-in-law.
His brother-in-law called his stock broker **the next minute** https://t.co/EiXjZ4oPS4
— Robert Faturechi (@RobertFaturechi) October 28, 2021
Fauth called two brokers to execute the trades after speaking with Burr, according to ProPublica, since the first one was unavailable to order them. The SEC is investigating both men for insider trading due to the trades, and Fauth is fighting a subpoena as part of the investigation, according to the filings.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) decided in January against charging Burr with insider trading, following a months-long investigation. As part of the investigation, the senator’s phone was seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Burr has denied wrongdoing, claiming that he made the trades off of publicly-available information. His office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.
At the time, Burr publicly claimed that Americans should not worry about the emerging coronavirus, arguing that “the United States today is better prepared than ever before to face emerging public health threats” because of “the response framework Congress has put in place to ensure we are prepared for disease outbreaks.” (RELATED: Senators Loeffler And Burr Caught Dumping Their Stocks After Private Meeting On Coronavirus Impact)
Burr was one of several senators who were investigated for stock trades shortly before the U.S. shut down to combat the virus. Republican Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, Republican Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe and Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein were also investigated, but not charged, by the DOJ.