Four weeks after being sworn in as FBI Director, James Comey liquidated personal stock of a Wall Street financial fund under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to documents and federal law enforcement sources.
The company, Pacific Investment Management Company, more commonly known as Pimco, may have also been on the FBI’s radar at the time, according to FBI sources.
“That’s for the Inspector General and Congressional investigators to sort out,” one FBI source said. “Normally, you would see a criminal referral to the FBI (from the SEC) in a case that size. That was a $20 million case. We investigate cases far far smaller.
“Selling that much stock a couple weeks after you take the FBI job should raise red flags.”
Comey liquidated up to $500,000 of Pimco holdings in Oct. 2013, according to records obtained by True Pundit. Comey was sworn in as FBI chief in September 2013, replacing Robert Mueller.
The SEC eventually settled with Pimco after years of negotiations in 2016, records show, for $20 million.
Per the Wall Street Journal:
Pacific Investment Management Co. agreed to pay $20 million to resolve U.S. claims it misled investors and mismarked securities, ending a multiyear investigation into a fund formerly managed by Pimco co-founder Bill Gross.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday in an administrative order that Pimco wasn’t clear with investors about the early success of its Pimco Total Return Active ETF, an exchange-traded fund for small investors.
Pimco created the ETF, which trades on an exchange like a stock, to mirror its flagship Total Return Fund. Mr. Gross ran Total Return and the ETF before he left in 2014.
Pimco first acknowledged the investigation in 2014 and said in August 2015 that the SEC had sent it a Wells Notice indicating the regulator believed it had found securities-law violations. The SEC didn’t issue a similar notice to Mr. Gross, who now works for Janus Capital Group Inc.
Comey held stock positions in two Pimco funds, according to records, including the fund under investigation.He liquidated all Pimco holding four weeks after taking the FBI chief’s job, records show.
Per the SEC news release entitled “PIMCO Settles Charges of Misleading Investors…”:
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that investment management firm Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) agreed to retain an independent compliance consultant and pay nearly $20 million to settle charges that it misled investors about the performance of one its first actively managed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and failed to accurately value certain fund securities.