Representative Mikie Sherrill broke STOCK law by inappropriately disclosing financial transactions

  • Representative Mikie Sherrill liquidated individual stocks in February 2020 to place the money in ETFs.
  • But her husband still had stock trades through his work that they were supposed to disclose.
  • She reported the transactions several months late and confirmed paying a fine.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat from New Jersey, did not properly disclose up to $ 350,000 in stock sales, in violation of federal conflict of interest law.

Federally-requested disclosure documents show Sherrill’s husband Jason Hedberg sold between $ 100,000 and $ 250,000 in shares of financial services firm UBS in April. He then sold between $ 50,001 and $ 100,000 of USB shares in June.

Sherrill reported the transactions on December 3, months beyond the 45-day deadline for such transactions. The documents in question are called Periodic Transaction Reports, or PTRs.

Sherrill is the 48th Congressman Insider and other news organizations this year identified as failing to properly disclose their stock transactions, as required by the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, also known as STOCK Act.

Sherrill’s office attributed the late filing to an oversight and said she proactively paid late fees. Her husband Hedberg is Managing Director of UBS Investment Bank, where he leads sales of equity derivatives.

“Both of these transactions were the sale of vested shares earned by Representative Sherrill’s husband as part of his compensation at work,” Bryan Doherty, director of communications for Sherrill, told Insider.

“In our year-end annual internal review, we identified that although these two transactions were properly disclosed in the 2020 Annual Report to the Clerk of the House, they were not reported via a periodic transaction report.” , he added. “After finalizing our internal review, the company responsible for managing our compliance filed the required PTR. ”

Sherrill is one of only three members of Congress to provide Insider with proof that she paid a fine for breaking the STOCK Act. The document provided as evidence showed Sherrill paid $ 400, more than the $ 200 fee typically required for a first-time violation of the law.

Doherty said the House Ethics Committee had not contacted Sherrill about the missing report or asked her to pay the fees. Instead, he said, Sherrill “proactively paid the late fees.”

Insider reports have revealed that on the US Capitol House side, it is often up to members of Congress to voluntarily identify and acknowledge any situation in which they delay reporting their stock transactions. The Special Senate Committee on Ethics, on the other hand, takes a more in-depth look at annual disclosures and alerts senators and senior officials when they discover missing information or send notifications when a late payment is due.

Sherrill and Hedberg liquidated their individual equity portfolio in February 2020 and put the money into exchange-traded funds, which bundle multiple securities into one investment.

Under House ethics rules, members are required to annually disclose their ETFs and other personal financial information, such as how they make money outside of their federal salaries.

But there is no need for them to disclose such transactions quickly – as they have to make individual stock transactions – as ETFs track an underlying asset like an index, an individual commodity, or a mix of. active.

Congressional ethics officials say the “most comprehensive approach” for lawmakers to “eliminate conflicts of interest and their appearance” is to form what is called a qualified blind trust – a managed financial vehicle. independently by a trustee and approved by ethics committees in the House or Senate.

Often expensive and time consuming to establish, most members of Congress have not established qualified blind trusts, including Sherrill.

A growing number of STOCK law violations

The STOCK Act is designed to provide transparency about where members of Congress and their families earn money outside of their congressional salaries and to reveal any potential conflicts of interest.

Insiders and other news organizations have now identified 48 members of Congress this year who failed to properly report their financial transactions, as required by the STOCK Act.

They include:

  • Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California
  • Senator Tommy Tuberville, a Republican from Alabama
  • Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky
  • Senator Mark Kelly, a Democrat from Arizona
  • Senator Roger Marshall, a Republican from Kansas
  • Wyoming Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis
  • Representative Tom Malinowski, a Democrat from New Jersey
  • Rep. Pat Fallon, a Republican from Texas
  • Representative Katherine Clark, Democrat of Massachusetts
  • Rep. Diana Harshbarger, Republican of Tennessee
  • Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Republican from Texas
  • Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat from New York
  • Rep. Brian Mast, a Florida Republican
  • Rep. Blake Moore, a Republican from Utah
  • Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat of Florida
  • Representative Kathy Castor, Democrat of Florida
  • Representative Lori Trahan, Democrat of Massachusetts
  • Rep. Steve Chabot, Republican from Ohio
  • Representative Cheri Bustos, Democrat of Illinois
  • Rep. August Pfluger, a Republican from Texas
  • Representative Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Colorado
  • Rep. Chris Jacobs, a Republican from New York
  • Representative Bobby Scott, a Democrat from Virginia
  • Representative Susie Lee, Democrat of Nevada
  • Rep. Kevin Hern, a Republican from Oklahoma
  • Representative Thomas Suozzi, a Democrat from New York
  • Representative Cindy Axne, Democrat of Iowa
  • Rep. Warren Davidson, Ohio Republican
  • Rep. Lance Gooden, a Republican from Texas
  • Of the. Michael San Nicolas, a Democrat from Guam
  • Rep. Roger Williams, a Republican from Texas
  • Rep. Dan Meuser, Republican from Pennsylvania
  • Representative John Rutherford, a Republican from Florida
  • Rep. Rick Allen, a Republican from Georgia
  • Rep. Victoria Spartz, Republican of Indiana
  • Rep. Mike Kelly, a Republican from Pennsylvania
  • Representative Brian Higgins, a Democrat from New York
  • Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican from Alabama
  • Rep. Jim Banks, a Republican from Indiana
  • Rep. Mike Kelly, a Republican from Pennsylvania
  • Representative Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat from California
  • Representative Michael Guest, a Republican from Mississippi
  • Rep. Pete Sessions, a Republican from Texas
  • Rep. Rob Wittman, a Republican from Virginia
  • Rep. Austin Scott, a Republican from Georgia
  • Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican from Tennessee
  • Representative Kim Schrier, a Democrat from Washington

Some federal lawmakers willfully refrain from trading in stocks. Others only trade bonds, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, and other garden type investments.

Members of Congress who wish to formally disassociate themselves from their personal investments can apply to their chamber’s ethics committee to approve the creation of a qualified blind trust.

Senator Jon Ossoff, a Democrat from Georgia, and Representative Tom Malinowski, a Democrat from New Jersey whose House Ethics Committee is investigating stock transactions, both created blind qualifying trusts for their assets this year.

The Ban Conflicted Trading Act, sponsored in the Senate by Senator Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, and in the House by Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat, would prohibit members of Congress from trading in individual stocks.

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