Representative Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) revealed in a filing on Friday that he had sold more than $250,000 worth of “Let’s Go Brandon” (LGB) meme cryptocurrency on Dec. 31, 2021, the day the value of the digital coin peaked before it lost much of its value.
At a party on Dec. 29, 2021, Cawthorn posed with LGB chief promoter James Koutoulas, posting a photo on his Instagram account with a comment “Tomorrow we go to the moon!” The next day, NASCAR driver Brandon Brown announced that the LGB coin would be his primary sponsor for the 2022 season, pushing up the digital currency’s value by 75 percent. According to Brown, his deal with LGB was negotiated directly by Koutoulas.
Cawthorn’s periodic transaction filing shows that he bought LGB coins worth between $100,001 and $250,000 on Dec. 21. Ten days later, on Dec. 31, he sold a portion of his LGB holdings for between $100,001 and $250,000. During the 10-day period that Cawthorn held the coin, the value of his investment shot up by 98 percent, according to an analysis by the Washington Examiner.
Cawthorn’s trading decisions look like a “classic pump and dump scheme,” Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told the media outlet.
“Did he have inside information? It sure appears that way,” he said. “He’s hanging out with the guy, announced it was going to spike the next day. The next day it spiked, and then he sells a portion of it. We don’t know exactly how much he sold since he said it’s partial, but he sells it the next day.”
A day after Cawthorn unloaded his investment, the LGB coin began its fall in value. On Jan. 4, NASCAR announced that it declined LGB’s sponsorship deal with Brown. By the end of the month, the coin’s value had fallen drastically.
In a Feb. 20 livestream, Koutoulas blamed the decline in LGB coin’s value on insiders dumping their holdings all at once. Currently, the coin is trading 99 percent below its peak price set the day Cawthorn sold his holdings.
In a March 22 video uploaded to LGB’s official Twitter account, the Republican lawmaker was once again seen promoting the meme coin.
“This is going to the moon, baby! To the moon!” Cawthorn says while pointing to an LGB coin logo pinned on Koutoulas’s suit. “Letsgobrandon.com—get on the train. Get on the train. Take the power of currency away from the government.”
In April, Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) had called for an inquiry into whether Cawthorn had committed insider trading.
“Insider trading by a member of Congress is a serious betrayal of their oath, and Congressman Cawthorn owes North Carolinians an explanation,” he said in an April 27 tweet.
The House Ethics Committee had recently voted to investigate Cawthorn for promoting the LGB coin. The meme currency is named after a derogatory phrase about President Joe Biden.
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Author: The Epoch Times
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