Retired Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) announced on Friday that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has closed a 2 1/2-year investigation of his stock trading activities without taking action against him.
“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,” said Burr, who retired earlier this week after serving three terms in the Senate.
The SEC had been investigating Burr’s sale of $1.65 million worth of stock at the first outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020. The sale included a large share of hospitality industry stocks, which took a hit when worldwide travel and tourism ground to a halt a few weeks later.
The agency had scrutinized communications between Burr and his sister and brother-in-law, Gerald Fauth, before they sold stocks before many retail investors fully realized the extent of the pandemic’s impact on the economy.
Burr’s trades were also reviewed by the Justice Department, which closed its investigation in early 2021.
“Sen. Burr is pleased that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as did the U.S. Department of Justice, conducted a thorough review and closed their investigation with no action,” said Burr’s lawyer, Alice Fisher of Latham & Watkins.
“We have believed all along that this is the right result. He is glad to put this matter behind him as he embarks on his retirement from his dedicated service in the Senate,” Fisher said.
Burr stepped down as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in May 2020 because of the investigation, giving the gavel to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), with whom Burr is closely allied, praised the retiring North Carolina senator last month.
“For five years, Richard’s colleagues tasked him with helming the Intelligence Committee. Some of this institution’s most sensitive and critical responsibilities wound up in his lap. But Senators on both sides knew that Richard’s thoughtfulness, fairmindedness, and discretion tailor-made him for that role,” McConnell said.
Burr most recently served as the ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.