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SEC ends insider trading investigation into former N.C. senator

Recently-retired North Carolina Senator Richard Burr said Friday that an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into some of his financial dealings is now over. File Pool Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI
1 of 4 | Recently-retired North Carolina Senator Richard Burr said Friday that an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into some of his financial dealings is now over. File Pool Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Former North Carolina Senator Richard Burr said Friday that an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into some of his financial dealings is now over.

Burr said the SEC ended its insider trading probe, without taking action. The agency did not immediately provide comment on the case.

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"This week, the SEC informed me that they have concluded their investigation with no action. I am glad to have this matter in the rearview mirror as I begin my retirement from the Senate following nearly three decades of public service," Burr said Friday, in a statement through his lawyers.

Burr opted not to seek re-election in the current Congress after serving three terms in the Senate.

In March 2020, he asked the Senate ethics committee to investigate his sale of up to $1.7 million in stocks, which came as he received daily briefings on the developing COVID-19 pandemic.

The SEC launched its investigation on the 25th of that month.

Burr came under scrutiny after a news report detailed how he unloaded a number of stocks on Feb. 13. In the days after his stock sales, the markets lost about 30% of their value amid uncertainty over the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Part of those sales included holdings in the hospitality sector, which went on to be particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

As chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Burr received daily updates on details of the coronavirus outbreak, which was at the time mostly focused on China.

Burr stepped back from his role as committee chair amid the investigation.

The Justice Department also looked into Burr's dealings, at one point serving a warrant to retrieve and review his phone. But it closed that case in early 2021 without recommending any charges against him.

That investigation scrutinized conversations between Burr, his sister and brother-in-law.

"I relied solely on public news reports to guide my decision regarding the sale of stocks on February 13," he said at the time.

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