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WASHINGTON, DC – Following an outcry from good government organizations over Rep. Tom Price’s suspect stock trades, U.S. PIRG has released a new online tool at InvestigatePrice.com, tracking money made by Rep. Price through unethical investments in Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd. The new site’s release comes after good government groups called on senate leadership earlier this week urging a delay of Rep. Price’s nomination for HHS Secretary until the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has had the opportunity to fully investigate potential violations of the law.
As a public interest advocacy group, U.S. PIRG supported the 2012 passage of the STOCK Act, legislation which strengthened prohibitions against Members of Congress engaging in insider trading. Lawmakers are now requesting that the SEC investigate Mr. Price’s discounted investments in Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd.
Last year, Mr. Price received stocks at a 12% discounted rate over other investors following a tip from a fellow member of Congress that Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd. was holding a private placement offering. Mr. Price was one of fewer than 20 U.S. investors invited to participate in the offering, through which he purchased 400,613 shares at a discounted rate, making an immediate profit in the tens of thousands of dollars. At the time of the stock purchase, Mr. Price was helping to craft healthcare legislation with a direct impact on Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd.
In addition to specifying that it is against the law for Members of Congress to trade on non-public information gleaned through the course of official business, the STOCK Act also creates an important system of real-time transparency of stock trading activity by members and staff. Under the law, lawmakers and congressional candidates, the president and vice president, members of the cabinet and high-ranking congressional and executive branch staff are required to file personal financial disclosure statements each year which are published online.
U.S. PIRG, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.
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