ATLANTA — New questions have surfaced concerning Senator David Perdue’s stock trades after a bombshell New York Times investigation uncovered that Perdue has been lying to Georgians all year about having “discretion over which trades were made and when” in his active stock portfolio.
As Perdue remains under intense scrutiny for his “unusual” stock trades, here’s a rundown of the self-dealing stock trading scandals Senator Perdue has been embroiled in throughout his campaign:
1. Perdue traded “possibly millions” of bank stocks while overseeing the banking industry
A Salon investigation uncovered that Perdue traded at least hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bank stocks while passing pro-bank legislation on the Senate Banking Committee. While Perdue was “throw[ing] softballs to big banks,” he received over $1 million in donations from financial industry interests, and in some instances, received financial contributions the exact day he introduced legislation that benefited his banking friends.
2. Perdue bought Navy contractor stock right before assuming control of the Senate Seapower Subcommittee, then sold the stock for a profit
The Daily Beast revealed that right before Perdue became chairman of a subcommittee with jurisdiction over the U.S. Navy, Perdue began “buying up stock in a company that made submarine parts.” Then, he helped shape legislation that directed Navy funding for one of the company’s products and sold off the stock, earning him “tens of thousands of dollars in profits.”
Ethics experts criticized Perdue’s “unusual” trades, saying they create “the appearance of a conflict of interest” and “leave broader questions about whether he was profiting off his legislative activity.”
3. Perdue made “well-timed” stock trades in an Atlanta company that “warrant[ed] scrutiny”
A bombshell report by the Associated Press revealed that as concern over the coronavirus was beginning to spread through Congress, Perdue sold at least $1 million dollars of stock in an Atlanta-based tech company right before it plunged. Weeks later, Perdue quickly bought back the stock after it lost two-thirds of its market value, avoiding a “sharp loss” and “reap[ing] a stunning gain by selling and then buying the same stock” of a company on whose board of directors he once served. The company’s shares have now quadrupled in value.
Legal experts questioned Perdue’s “impeccable” timing, saying the trades and his close ties to the Atlanta company “seem suspicious” and “warrant scrutiny.”
4. Perdue pushed to roll back regulations on prepaid debit cards, then acquired stock in a company that stood to benefit from the rollback
A damaging report from The Daily Beast revealed that Perdue pushed to water down regulations on prepaid debit cards and then “acquir[ed] stock in a company that stood to benefit from the rollback of those regulations.” Along with the report noting the frequency and timing of the stock trades as “unusual to see,” government and securities law experts slammed Perdue’s “suspicious trading,” saying Perdue’s “perfectly timed” stock acquisitions were akin to “batting 100 percent” and that Perdue’s pattern of stock purchases “stinks to high heaven.”
5. Perdue bought stock in a PPE supplier the same day the Senate received a private briefing on the novel coronavirus
After the Senate received a private briefing on the deadly effects of the novel coronavirus, Senator Perdue came under fire for trading stocks early on in the pandemic and investing in “a chemical company that supplies personal protective equipment,” all while repeatedly echoing Trump’s downplaying of the threat of coronavirus, saying the risk of the virus remained low, even comparing COVID-19 to a bad flu season. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Senator Perdue’s financial portfolio saw “heavy trading” during the month of March, a period during which Congress passed three different spending bills to address the spread of COVID-19 and the markets took a turn for the worse.