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Tom Price’s $150,000-Plus Stock Windfall

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Tom Price’s $150,000-Plus Stock Windfall

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Tom Price

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

 

Tom Price doesn’t appear to have suffered a financial hit when he fulfilled his pledge to sell off some assets as the new head of the Department of Health and Human Services.

On one transaction alone, Price made a profit of more than $150,000 on shares he held in a tiny Australian biotech company, according to his financial disclosures. His purchases of that stock, which came while he was serving in Congress, were the subject of particular scrutiny during his confirmation hearings in January. He was one of a handful of U.S. investors allowed to buy discounted shares in Innate Immunotherapeutics, which was working on an experimental multiple sclerosis drug.

Price invested about $10,000 in 2015 and another $50,000 to $100,000 in the company last summer, records show. He appears to have sold all those shares on two days in February, reaping between $265,000 and $550,000, according to forms he filed last month with the federal Office of Government Ethics. Filers are required to show only a range of the value of any sold or purchased stock, meaning that his overall profit could range from $154,983 to as much as $489,981.

The forms show Price also sold shares worth a total of tens of thousands of dollars in about three dozen other companies involved in businesses including health care, technology and airlines.

While he served in Congress, Price reported trading hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of shares in health-related companies while he voted on and sponsored legislation affecting the industry. He testified at his HHS confirmation hearings that his trades were lawful and transparent. Democrats accused him of potentially using his office to enrich himself. ProPublica previously reported that his trading is said to have been under investigation by federal prosecutors.

Price testified during his confirmation hearings that the discounted shares in Innate Immunotherapeutics “were available to every single individual that was an investor at the time.”

But, as The Wall Street Journal reported, the discounted shares were only available to American investors by invitation. Price learned of the company from his friend Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., a company director and its largest shareholder. Collins told the Journal he invited Price to buy, and Price did so in two purchases, one at 18 cents a share and another at 26 cents a share during the summer of 2016. When Price sold off his investment, Innate was trading at around 90 cents.

Before he was confirmed, Price pledged to sell off his holdings.

Price did not respond to a request for an interview.

Price has said before that his trades while he was in Congress were promptly disclosed, as required by law. He has rejected allegations that he ran afoul of insider-trading rules or used his position as chair of the powerful House Budget Committee to get information or opportunities not available to normal investors.

Last week, ProPublica reported that on the same day his stockbroker bought him up to $90,000 of stock in six pharmaceutical companies, Price arranged to call a top U.S. health official, seeking to scuttle a controversial rule that could have hurt the firms’ profits and driven down their share prices.

 

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15 Comments

  1. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 4, 2017

    Insider trading is a felony. Lock him up.

    Reply
    1. ps0rjl April 5, 2017

      Unfortunately Congress has exempted itself from insider trading rules. It’s good to write the laws and exempt yourself from them.

      Reply
      1. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 5, 2017

        That’s not quite true. Obama signed the STOCK (“Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge”) act into law in … 2012ish?

        No, if I recall correctly, what Congress later did is simply made investigations into violations of this act very difficult (nearly impossible). However, in this case, it looks like the details are now public knowledge, and very little investigation will be needed.

        Reply
  2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 4, 2017

    “Price learned of the company…” through a fellow politician. How neighborly and thoughtful of Collins to go out of his way to inform Price. The generosity is extremely touching—makes one misty-eyed to know that Price made out handsomely through this gentle and friendly advice from a partisan friend, Chris Collins.

    What a wonderful system of governance we have, and shows that the “Old Boy” network is alive and well, working for the benefit of all those who’re well-connected.

    Making “certain” Americans Great Again—that’s the spirit, and “atta boy”!!! I’m sure the average coal-miner, and all the others in TrumpLand, are as thrilled as I am.

    Reply
  3. Thoughtopsy April 4, 2017

    Yet another swamp-dweller with his snout firmly in the trough.

    Reply
    1. Pennyothomas April 5, 2017

      Google is paying $97 per hour! Work for few hours & have longer with friends and family! !wr332c:
      On monday I got a great new mclaren f1 from having earned $12778 this last four weeks.. 3 to 5 hours of work a day… Weekly paychecks… Bonus opportunities…Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !wr332c:
      ➽➽
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      Reply
      1. yabbed April 5, 2017

        Flagged as spam. Again.

        Reply
  4. secondclassguy April 4, 2017

    he hates medicaid because Dr Death wants them dead so he can sell the body parts and pocket the money

    Reply
  5. yabbed April 5, 2017

    Why hasn’t he been prosecuted?

    Reply
    1. Dominick Vila April 5, 2017

      Because the rule of law applies only to Democrats.

      Reply
    2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 5, 2017

      The Rule of Law in America has a special Hypocrisy proviso, which exempts him and his political paisans from ever being prosecuted. The rest of us don’t have this special provision, and would have been arrested in the wink of an eye.

      Reply
      1. yabbed April 6, 2017

        Well, Martha Stewart went to prison for far less. Maybe it’s just the FBI that has a faction protecting the Trump cabal.

        Reply
        1. johninPCFL April 6, 2017

          Yeah, that Jeff Sessions guy as a special place in his black heart for any GOP lawbreakers.

          Reply
  6. William LJ Clark April 5, 2017

    When he was suppose to be a doctor I wonder how often he might have over charged the ill person or their insurance or maybe medicare. Sounds like a republican out to get rich even if it means being a shady character.

    Reply
  7. dpaano April 7, 2017

    Price needs to go, much like most of 45’s other choices! None of them are that far from their investments to not have conflict of interest problems! Their only goal in becoming part of 45’s administration is to line their pockets…..much like 45 himself! It’s pretty darn sad that 45, being as unqualified and uninformed as he is, nominated people that are just as unqualified and uninformed! We need a government of people who know HOW to run a government…..which is NOT like you run a business!

    Reply

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