Bakkt Ex-CEO under fire for selling stocks after COVID-19 hearing

on Mar 20, 2020
  • US Senator from Georgia was recently harshly criticized for selling a large amount of stock after a private coronavirus briefing in January.
  • Senator Kelly Loeffler, who was previously a CEO of Bakkt, claimed that she and her husband did not know of the sale, as it is done by third parties.
  • While the Senator called any accusations against her 'ridiculous and baseless,' the community remains unconvinced.

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The former CEO of Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt, and the current Republican senator from the US state of Georgia, Kelly Loeffler, recently came under fire for allegedly selling millions in stock after a Senate Health Committee hearing. The hearing was in regard to the coronavirus outbreak, and the senator’s decision to act was criticized as most improper.

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A report published by Daily Beast earlier today stated that the senator reported the first instance of stock on January 24th, which was the very same day when the US Senators held a private briefing. The stock in question was jointly owned by the senator and her husband, according to the report.

From what is known currently, Bakkt’s former CEO and her husband executed as many as 27 sales of numerous stocks in the following month. This included the sale of Resideo Technologies shares, which have seen a massive price drop since then, losing over 50% of their former value.

The pair also made only two stock purchases between the hearing and now, both of which are reported to be rather large investments. The investments were between $100,000 and $250,000, and both went into a provider of technologies for distributed workplace solutions, Citrix. The company’s website says that the firm provides the support needed to keep employees safe, and business running throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Loeffler denies having anything to do with the move

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Interestingly, despite her rush to sell the stock, Loeffler made numerous efforts to bring confidence and stability in the country’s economy. She continued to do so even as the pandemic continues to worsen, and concern started to grow.

Loeffler’s move did not go unnoticed for long, and the public backlash quickly followed, to which she responded on her Twitter by saying that she was informed of the purchases and sales three weeks after they were made, on February 16th. She added that the attack on her was ‘ridiculous and baseless.’

She also said that she doesn’t make investment decisions and that she has several third-party advisors who do that for her, and without her or her husband’s involvement or knowledge. The community was still not convinced, however, and many were quick to note that the fact that she invested up to $250,000 into a firm that allows remote work is just a ‘crazy coincidence.’

While Loeffler ended up under a spotlight for the moe, she apparently was not the only one to make such a move. Senator Richard Burr, who acts as the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, also reportedly sold a large volume of shares before the market crashed due to coronavirus fears. He was also criticized for the move, which he made on February 13th, selling between $580,000 and $1.56m worth of stock in 30 different transactions.