NJ-7 Democrat Malinowski Under Investigation for Murky Financial Dealings, Also Benefited from Well-Timed Stock Trades

Incumbent U.S. Representative Tom Malinowski (D-NJ-07) appears to have financially benefited from exceptional timing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hill reported in 2021 that Malinowski previously faced two ethics complaints about his failure to report “trading roughly $1 million in stock in medical companies that were involved in responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Malinowski’s stock trades, when viewed in the context of the COVID-19 timeline in the United States, led The Star News Network to more closely follow his financial activities. Using publicly available and verified information, records show that Malinowski benefited from an extraordinary navigation of technology, luxury, and medical market sectors.

Due to his position as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Malinowski had access to knowledge of the coronavirus pandemic that the public did not have prior to making any succeeding stock trades.

On January 10, 2020, a Friday, the CDC published information about COVID-19 on its website, and on January 13, 2020, the next day the stock market was open, Malinowski purchased stock in Castlight Health, Inc. “a leader in healthcare navigation.” January 13, 2020, was also the date the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Thailand.

Twenty days later, U.S. health officials briefed members of the U.S. House of Representatives about the spread of coronavirus.

On February 4, 2020, a public health emergency was declared regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and several members of Congress urged action to address the pandemic.

Two days later, the first death attributed to COVID-19 was recorded in the United States.

On February 7, 2020, the CDC issued an interim final rule “to enable CDC to require airlines to collect, and provide to CDC, certain data regarding passengers and crew arriving from foreign countries for the purpose of health education, treatment, prophylaxis, or other appropriate public health interventions, including travel restrictions.”

Also on this day, Malinowski short-sold his shares of Kimco Realty Corporation, a company that owns a variety of real estate businesses, several of which were forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On February 26, 2020, the CDC announced that, due to COVID-19, “disruption to everyday life may be severe,” and on February 27, the next day, Malinowski covered a short sale in Tapestry, Inc., “a house of modern luxury accessories and lifestyle brands.” Due to the impacts of COVID-19, Tapestry Inc. suffered from hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue losses.

Five days later, the CDC created COVID-NET, a system built from existing surveillance networks to “monitor hospitalizations associated with COVID-19.” The next day the stock market opened, March 2, 2020, Malinowski purchased stock in New Relic, Inc., valued between $1,001 and $15,000. He had previously purchased stock on February 7, 2020, as well. New Relic, Inc. is “a software-as-a-service company” that “provides platform for engineers to plan, build, deploy and operate software worldwide.”

New Relic technology “helps engineers plan, build, deploy, and run great software,” and they have “a unified data platform for all telemetry data – metrics, events, logs and traces – paired with analysis tools to help find solutions fast.”

On March 16, 2020, Malinowski covered his short-sell position in Kimco Realty Corporation. Per the Market Summary of Kimco Realty Corporation, shares dropped significantly the same day. On March 15, 2020, the United States began the COVID-19 shutdown.

The Associated Press previously reported that “Malinowski benefited from exceptional timing” with his investments in Kimco Realty, a company that “is a real estate investment trust (REIT) headquartered in Jericho, N.Y., that is North America’s largest publicly traded owner and operator of open-air, grocery-anchored shopping centers, including mixed-used assets.”

The AP said in the May 2021 article, “In at least one case Malinowski benefited from exceptional timing. In February 2020, days after members of Congress were briefed on the virus, records show Malinowski sold between $1,001 and $15,000 shares in Kimco Realty, a company that owns shopping centers across the U.S. A month later, when the company’s share price dropped nearly 50%, he bought back far more stock in the company, worth somewhere between $15,001 and $50,000. They’ve increased in value by 50% since.”

Malinowski’s actions appear to contradict his own words, which were captured on video at a meeting. “If you are in a position like I am, where you are making decisions that affect the economy of the United States, there shouldn’t even be the perception that you are making those decisions with your own personal investments in mind,” he said.

Two of Malinowski’s fellow Democrat U.S. representatives are taking action to eliminate the financial behavior that he has demonstrated.

U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), the sponsor of the TRUST in Congress Act, determined that as members of the U.S. House they “have access to information on a daily basis that the public may or may not have access to,” and that “even where there is not a conflict, the perception that there is a potential conflict – the reality that there is a potential conflict is what we have to get at.”

“This bill requires a Member of Congress, as well as any spouse or dependent child of a Member, to place specified investments into a qualified blind trust (i.e., an arrangement in which certain financial holdings are placed in someone else’s control to avoid a possible conflict of interest) until 180 days after the end of their tenure as a Member of Congress.”

Spanberger tweeted, “The perception of insider trading, let alone the practice of it, by lawmakers is damaging to our democracy. Our TRUST in Congress Act would ban Members of Congress from controlling stocks to make it clear that lawmakers serve the American people – not their own interests.”

Fellow New Jersey Representative Andy Kim (D-NJ-03) proposed legislation called the Restoring Trust in Public Servants Act that bans members of Congress, top federal officials from the president and vice president, senior executive branch employees, and federal judges from owning individual securities “to try to restore trust” in Congress.

In the release announcing the legislation, Kim condemned owning individual stocks by public servants.

“A lot of them are concerned that public servants are looking out for themselves rather than the best interests of the American people. They’re worried that public servants are pushing personal and political gain over what we swear an oath to,” he said. “I think the American people are fed up. They’re feeling that government is not working for them. People want a better government and they want better public servants that they feel they can trust.”

Kim continued, “Members can know what’s in their blind trusts. All you do is ship what you own to a blind trust. You can take actions to benefit what you know is in there.”

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow Aaron on GETTRTwitter, and Parler.
Photo “Tom Malinowski” by Franmarie Metzler. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by csbwv.



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