This Utah congressman paid a fine for violating rule on stock sales

Rep. Blake Moore said he will disclosure future transactions as required under STOCK act.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Rep. Blake Moore, appearing at town hall in June 2021, paid a fine recently for failing to disclose stock trades.

A Utah congressman failed to disclose his stock trades as required by law and has acknowledged paying a fine to the House Committee on Ethics.

Rep. Blake Moore, a freshman Republican, did not file a timely report on more than 70 separate transactions, sometimes being months late, according to a new report from Insider.

Moore acknowledged the misstep and in a statement implied it was due to consolidating his holdings upon taking office. His staff said he transferred 401(k) funds to a Utah management firm, Iron Gate Global Advisors, and that firm hired someone to comply with the requirements for members of Congress.

“Congressman Moore has worked in consultation with the Ethics Committee to meet the requirements of the statutory remedy for late filings,” his office said, “and he paid a late filing fee in full.”

That fee generally starts at $200, Insider reported.

Congress passed what is known as the “STOCK Act” in 2012 to combat potential insider trading by lawmakers. It gives members of Congress 45 days to disclose securities transactions and bans them from using nonpublic information gained through their public position to make a personal profit.

“Most members of Congress comply with the STOCK Act,” said Dave Levinthal, the Insider’s deputy Washington bureau chief, “but one or two members of Congress each month have ended up violating the STOCK Act’s disclosure provisions.”

Levinthal said some members, such as Moore, say financial advisers are making trades on their behalf “and that they only have an arm’s-length relationship with their own investments. But the members themselves are ultimately on the hook for following the law.”

Moore filed his only stock report July 17. It listed some transactions going back to February. These reports require financial ranges, and each transaction listed was between $1,000 and $15,000.

Moore made 69 stock purchases during this time and with the reporting ranges those transactions could be worth as little as $69,000 and as much as $1 million. He sold nine stocks, which could be worth $9,000 to $135,000.

Among the stocks Moore bought through Iron Gate are the defense contractor Raytheon. Moore sits on the House Armed Services Committee. He also made multiple stock purchases of Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce behemoth, along with U.S.-based tech giants, such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. Moore’s stock purchases included Johnson & Johnson, Berkshire Hathaway and Dollar General.

Moore’s office said now that the congressman has “established a financial compliance process with his firm and the Ethics Committee, he will continue to ensure all future filing deadlines are met.”

The only other Utah member of Congress to file a report on his stock trades is Rep. John Curtis. He bought stock in everything from Valero Energy to T-Mobile, though like Moore he had his eye on tech stocks, buying Google, Apple, Amazon, Adobe, Facebook, Microsoft and Intel.