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Senators’ Stock Sales Raise Corporate Insider Trading Concern


U.S. Senators’ selling of stock after briefings on the new coronavirus raises a similar concern for potential insider trading by corporate executives and directors.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and three other senators sold stock following briefings in late January about the Covid-19 virus threat, financial records show. The sales came before stocks collapsed as the virus outbreak became a global pandemic.

Corporate insiders could likewise trade based on advanced knowledge of government relief for airlines or other companies hit hardest by the virus before such measures are made public...

The current market volatility and sensitivity to news around Covid-19 presents “a heightened opportunity for insider trading and the possibility of more actions down the line,” said Brook Dooley, a partner at San Francisco-based firm Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP.

“I think there is going to a lot of political will and public demand for accountability for anyone taking advantage of this situation,” he added.

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