North Carolina Republican representative, Madison Cawthorn has been ordered to pay more than $14,000 after the House of Ethics Committee determined he profited financially from buying a cryptocurrency he was supporting and broke the law on conflicts of interest.
Tuesday, the House of Ethics Committee accepted a report from its investigative subcommittee (ISC) from December 1st that determined Cawthorn had broken House rules by failing to disclose his financial stake in the alleged cryptocurrency LGB Coin.
The report states that on December 21, 2021, Cawthorn purchased 180 billion LGB Coins for $15,000 before selling them three times over 18 days. Several times, including after the token’s price fell by 80% in April, Cawthorn was spotted promoting it both online and in person.
Due to the improper contribution and late disclosures, Cawthorn is being ordered to pay $14,237.49 to an approved charity organization by December 31 and $1000 in late fees to the Treasury Department within 14 days of the report’s release. Within 14 days of the report’s release, he must also file a report outlining his cryptocurrency purchase.
The subcommittee discovered strong evidence that Cawthorn had promoted a cryptocurrency called “Lets Go Brandon (LGB), which took its name from a phrase criticizing President Biden, and in which he had a financial interest, in violation of the laws against conflicts of interests.
According to the reports, Cawthorwn neglected to submit timely reports to the House outlining his transactions, but the panel did not prove that he did so intentionally or knowingly. However, Cawthorn is still obligated to pay late fees for failing to submit the disclosure on time.
LGB Coin declared on December 30, 2021, that it would support Brandon Brown in the 2022 NASCAR racing season. The day after buying LGB Coin, Cawthorn sold a lot of them.
The price of the coin then crashed after NASCAR stated on January 4, 2022, that it was withdrawing its approval for LGB Coin to sponsor a driver in its events.
According to the reports, Cawthorn sold more LGB coins that day, and nearly two weeks later, he sold almost all of the LGB coins he still had.
A class action lawsuit alleging a pump and dump scam was filed in federal district court in April 2022 against some of the participating parties and NASCAR.
Cawthorn was not named as a defendant in the ongoing lawsuit, but the petitioners pointed to Instagram pictures in which he appeared and said the defendants used Cawthorn to market the LGB coins at the event and the investors who followed the event on social media.
The investigation did not undercover any proof of a romantic or sexual relationship between Cawthorn and a member of his staff, despite numerous news articles and social media discussions about it after the release of images and videos showing them engaging in explicit and sexually suggestive comments and behavior.
All of the witnesses the subcommittee questioned stated there was no improper relationship, and Cawthorn and the staff member both denied having any such relationship. A strong relationship between Cawthorn and the employee, according to witnesses, did not foster an inappropriate working atmosphere.
The subcommittee also determined that any depictions of sexual or other inappropriate comments or behavior that occurred before the start of Cawthorn’s term in the House are not subject to investigation.
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The Republican-held rural 11th district of North Carolina’s 26-year-old, who is now one of the youngest members of Congress, lost the party primary election by a slim margin of roughly 1,500 votes in May.
Cawthorn, who is viewed as a political firebrand by both his supporters and opponents, was originally predicted to become a leading figure in the Republican party’s far-right wing and to win the 2020 election by capitalizing on Trumpism.
When he implied that he had been asked to a cocaine-fueled orgy by some Republican members of Congress, the young politician lost the support of his peers.
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