Burr sued over controversial stock sales
A shareholder in Wyndham Hotels is suing U.S. Sen. Richard Burr over the North Carolina Republican's decision to sell up to $150,000 of Wyndham stock last month before the coronavirus outbreak caused the stock to lose more than half of its value.Posted — Updated
"Over the next several weeks, Wyndham’s stock dropped precipitously as the market was belatedly informed of the severity of COVID-19, as well as its potential expected impact on the economy. In particular, Wyndham, as a hotel chain, obviously stood to lose substantial business as a result of quarantine measures, border closures, and substantial reductions in tourism," the lawsuit states.
Wyndham was trading at close to $28 a share on Tuesday, up sharply from a low of $14.50 a share last week.
Less than a week before the stock sales, Burr assured the public of the nation's preparedness for what has become a global pandemic.
Calling Burr "a scofflaw in a time of national crisis," Jacobson alleges in the lawsuit that the senator "owed a duty ... not to use material nonpublic information that he learned by virtue of his duties as a United States Senator in connection with the sale or purchase of any security."
Burr has said that he "relied solely on public news reports" to guide his decision to sell stocks and that he followed "CNBC's daily health and science reporting out of its Asia bureaus at the time."
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