As the extensive damage of novel coronavirus continuously forces millions of people out of work, it shrinks the value of retirement accounts, shuttering businesses, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping to a three-year low.
But for Georgia Republican Senator David Perdue, the crisis we experienced last March triggered something else, an opportunity of buying stocks.
For the second time in just more than a month timeframe, the timing of Perdue was impeccable as he was able to dodge a sharp loss and reaped a stunning gain by selling and then buying the same stock: an Atlanta-based financial technology company on whose board of directors he once served, Cardlytics.
According to congressional disclosures, on January 23, as word spread through Congress that the coronavirus posed public health and a major economic threat, the Georgia Republican Senator sold off $1 million to $5 million in Cardlytics stock at $86 per share before it plunged in the stock market.
In March, after the company's stocks plunged further following lower-than-forecast earnings and unexpected leadership shakeup, Perdue bought back the same stocks that he once owned for $30 a share, putting his new investment to only $200,000 and $500,000, Springfield News-Sun reported.
]As of Tuesday, the said shares have quadrupled in value, closing at $121 a share.
The transactions with Cardlytics were just a portion of numerous investment decisions made in the early days of Perdue and other senators' global health crisis.
Despite no evidence that Perdue, who is one among wealthier members of the Senate, he acted on information gained as a member of Congress or through his long-standing relationship with the company's officials.
The usage of nonpublic information gained as a company insider or as a member of the Congress in making investment decisions is illegal.
However, according to the legal experts, the timing of perdue's sale, the fact that the senator quickly bought Cardlytics stock back when it had lost two-thirds of its market value, and his close ties to company officials all warrant scrutiny.
According to ABC News, a Law professor who specializes in corporate and securities issues at Columbia University, John c. Coffee Jr. shared that this does seem suspicious, but we need more than suspicions to get a conviction.
The Perdue campaign declined a request for an interview with the senator as his spokesperson John Burke, mentioned that the senator had been cleared of any wrongdoing.
But despite the given statement, the spokesperson did not provide any detail regarding the issue.
Burke only shared that the bi-partisan Senate Ethics Committee, SEC, and DOJ all independently and swiftly cleared The Georgia Republican Senator months ago, which was also reported.
Democrat Jon Ossoff, Perdue's opponent, has seized on his stock trading while trying to brand Perdue as a crook, KTLA5 reported.
The Cardlytics transactions made by Perdue fit into a broader pattern of stock moves he made at the time when the coronavirus first struck the United States.
At the time, the senator publicly maintained that the economy was steady and praised President Donald Trump during an interview in February. He emphasized that Trump executed the greatest economic turnaround in U.S. history.
Related Article: India Blocks 43 Chinese Apps Over Increasing Cybersecurity Concerns