3 more US senators have violated the STOCK Act: report

3 more US senators have violated the STOCK Act: report

On April 4, 2012, President Barack Obama signed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act, into law. Designed to discourage insider trading, the STOCK Act forbids members of Congress and other government employees to use non-public information to profit.

May 16 was the deadline for members of Congress to file their annual financial disclosures for 2021 in compliance with the STOCK Act, and according to Sludge David Moore and Donald Shaw, three more of them were in violation of the law.

“In the Senate, just 23 senators filed their 2021 annual disclosures by the deadline,” Moore and Shaw explain in an article written for Sludge and republished by the American Prospect on May 30. “A review of this batch of disclosures shows that last year, at least three more senators appear to have violated the STOCK Act’s requirement that they disclose certain financial transactions made by their households within 45 days.”

Moore and Shaw add, “Two senators, Democrats John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Gary Peters of Michigan, filed periodic transaction reports (PTRs) on May 16, 2022, for transactions they made in 2021. The transactions were also included in their 2021 annual disclosures. The third, Republican Jerry Moran of Kansas, has not yet addressed his missing periodic transaction report from last year for stock transactions that appeared in his 2021 annual disclosure for the first time.”

Moore and Shaw note that members of Congress who don’t meet the May 16 deadline can file for a 90-day extension. And they stress that Hickenlooper, Peters and Moran are hardly unique when it comes to their response to the STOCK Act of 2012.

“The three are just the latest of dozens of members of Congress who have been found to have violated the STOCK Act’s timely reporting requirement recently,” Moore and Shaw note. “According to a tally maintained by Business Insider, at least 60 other senators and representatives have failed to report their trades in accordance with the law. The STOCK Act, signed into law in 2012, requires members of Congress and other government officials to file PTRs within 45 days when they, their spouse, or their dependent children execute transactions worth more than $1000 of stocks, bonds, and other securities.”

Hickenlooper’s “errant PTR details five transactions his household made in 2021,” according to Moore and Shaw.

Alyssa Roberts, Hickenlooper’s communications director, told Sludge, “We missed filing these on time by mistake, but we’ve implemented steps to prevent it from happening again.”

According to Moore and Shaw, “Hickenlooper was an active stock trader in 2021, his first year in the Senate, filing seven PTRs for transactions, including a six-day sell-off of technology company stocks in late October and early November. He reported fully unloading his holdings in Amazon, Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, and other tech companies, with a total maximum value of over $4 million.”

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