Prominent US politician Madison Cawthorn is being investigated by a House Ethics Committee amid allegations that he helped to pump and dump the anti-Joe Biden Let’s Go Brandon coin (LGB).
According to a statement from the House Ethics Committee, Cawthorn “may have improperly promoted a cryptocurrency in which he may have had an undisclosed financial interest.”
The case surrounds an Instagram post from late December in which Cawthorn, once pegged as a rising star of the Republican Party, said, “LGB legends. … Tomorrow we go to the moon!”
A day later, the coin’s value increased 75% and it briefly hit a market cap of $570 million when NASCAR driver Brandon Brown unveiled LGB as his main 2022 sponsor.
However, this is as good as it got for the coin. NASCAR promptly pulled the plug on the sponsorship and after it was revealed that a number of insiders had jettisoned their entire holdings, the coin’s value plummeted. By February, it was basically zero.
Last month, The Washington Examiner spoke to a number of experts who suggested he “may have had advanced nonpublic knowledge of LGB Coin’s deal with Brown” (our emphasis).
This, they said, was reason enough to open an investigation.
“This looks really, really bad,” said Dylan Hedtler-Gaudette, the government affairs manager for federal watchdog group Project on Government Oversight (via the Washington Examiner).
“This does look like a classic case of you got some insider information and acting on that information. And that’s illegal.”
It has not yet been made clear what penalties Cawthorn could face if found guilty, but as noted by Decrypt, he would also likely have to face action from the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) or the US Department of Justice (DoJ).