Burr's brother-in-law sold stock on same day as senator in lead-up to crisis

Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrInternal poll shows McCrory with double-digit lead in North Carolina GOP Senate primary Democratic incumbents bolster fundraising advantage in key Senate races McConnell gets GOP wake-up call MORE’s (R-N.C.) brother-in-law Gerald Fauth also sold a large portion of his stock holdings in February before the market plunged due to the coronavirus pandemic, ProPublica first reported.

Financial disclosures indicated that Fauth, who currently sits on the National Mediation Board, sold between $97,000 and $280,000 worth of shares in six companies in February. Fauth averted the loss of between $37,000 and $118,000 by making the sales when he did, according to Luke Brindle-Khym, a partner and general counsel of Manhattan-based investigative firm QRI, who shared the analysis and financial disclosure with ProPublica.

The disclosures indicated that Fauth has not conducted frequent stock trades since 2017 but also made several sales in a single day in August 2019. On Feb. 13, according to ProPublica, Fauth’s trades included selling between $15,001 and $50,000 of stock in tobacco company Altria, between $50,001 and $100,000 in snack manufacturer Mondelez International, and several oil companies, which have seen stocks plummet due to reduced demand. They included between $15,001 and $50,000 of stock in both Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell.


Burr, meanwhile, has denied that any of his 33 stock sales, which amounted to between $628,000 and $1.72 million, were improper. Burr sold the shares a week before markets dropped steeply.

"I relied solely on public news reports to guide my decision regarding the sale of stocks on February 13," Burr said in a statement in March. "Specifically, I closely followed CNBC’s daily health and science reporting out of its Asia bureaus at the time. Understanding the assumption many could make in hindsight, however, I spoke this morning with the chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee and asked him to open a complete review of the matter with full transparency."

In a statement to The Hill, Alice Fisher of Latham & Watkins, who is advising Burr, said, “Senator Burr participated in the stock market based on public information and he did not coordinate his decision to trade on February 13 with Mr. Fauth.”

The Hill has reached out to the National Mediation Board for comment on Fauth’s transactions.