Cawthorn fined $15,000 for promoting ‘Lets go Brandon’ cryptocurrency

Cawthorn fined $15,000 for promoting ‘Lets go Brandon’ cryptocurrency

The House Ethics Committee has directed Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) to pay more than $15,000 in fines and fees for encouraging people to purchase a cryptocurrency in which he had a financial interest that was not properly disclosed. Get the full experience. Choose your plan ArrowRight
According to the committee’s 81-page report released Tuesday, Cawthorn has until the end of the month to pay $14,237.49 — “reflecting the approximate value of the gift he received” — to “an appropriate charitable organization,” and an additional $1,000 in late filing fees to the Treasury Department within 14 days of the report’s release. The congressman lost his primary in May and his term ends next month. The House panel’s investigative subcommittee (ISC) “found substantial evidence that Representative Cawthorn promoted a cryptocurrency in which he had a financial interest in violation of rules protecting against conflicts of interest, and that he failed to file timely reports to the House disclosing his transactions relating to the cryptocurrency,” the report said. The subcommittee “did not find that Representative Cawthorn knowingly or willfully failed to file timely disclosures; nonetheless, the ISC found that he is required by statute to pay the applicable late filing fees for his untimely disclosures.” The committee investigated but did not find sufficient evidence of insider trading, efforts to artificially inflate the value of the coin or an intent to personally enrich himself. The report also found no evidence to support allegations this year that Cawthorn had an improper relationship with a staffer. Cawthorn’s office had no immediate response to the report. According to the report, Cawthorn paid $150,000 for 180 billion “Let’s go, Brandon,” or LGB Coin, on Dec. 21, 2021. By that time, Republicans had adopted the phrase as a vulgar expression against President Biden. On the morning of Dec. 22, images could be found on social media of Cawthorn touting the coin . On Dec. 30, 2021, LGB Coin announced that it would sponsor a NASCAR driver, Brandon Brown, in the 2022 racing season. The following day, Cawthorn sold a bunch of the LGB Coin he had just purchased. Then, on Jan. 4, 2022, NASCAR announced that it was withdrawing its approval for LGB Coin to sponsor a driver in its competitions, leading the price of the coin to plummet. That same day, Cawthorn sold more of his LGB Coin and, nearly two weeks later, sold nearly all the remaining LGB Coin he owned, according to the report. Cawthorn, according to the report, “was seen in multiple photographs and videos in which he appeared to support or specifically encouraged individuals to purchase LGB Coin, including after the value of the LGB Coin that he held plummeted.” But officials did not come to a consensus about whether Cawthorn “intended to personally profit from his promotional activities.” As of mid-November, Cawthorn told officials that he owned nearly 15,400,000,000 LGB Coin that he “believed” was valued at “$357.52,” though, the report notes, “it is unclear how Rep. Cawthorn reached his estimation of the value.” In the report, officials said Cawthorn’s behavior in connection to the coin “did not reflect creditably upon the House.” The report is a capstone to the brief tenure of the one-term Republican whose status as a rising star in the party was quickly eclipsed by bizarre scandals and allegations of wrongdoing. Cawthorn was elected to Congress in November 2020 at age 25 and was a fierce defender of President Donald Trump. In his time in office, he was pulled over for speeding and was charged with driving with a revoked license. He tried bringing a loaded gun onto an airplane. He accused fellow Republicans of hosting orgies and doing cocaine. He also called President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine a “thug.” He amassed more than 1 million followers on social media but also drew a crowded field of Republican and Democratic opponents when he ran for re election . Cawthorn came in second place in the Republican primary in May, behind Chuck Edwards, a state senator , who went on to win the congressional seat in the general election. Georgia runoff election: A runoff between Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D) and Republican challenger Herschel Walker on Tuesday caps a turbulent election year. Get live updates here and a look at Warnock and Walker’s paths to victory. Divided government: Republicans narrowly won back control of the House , while Democrats will keep control of the Senate , creating a split Congress . What the results mean for 2024: A Republican Party red wave seems to be a ripple after Republicans fell short in the Senate and narrowly won control in the House. Donald Trump announced his 2024 presidential campaign shortly after the midterms. Here are the top 10 2024 presidential candidates for the Republicans and Democrats .

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