Tom Price, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, received a private placement investment only available to a limited number of investors in the US, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Price told the US Senate Finance Committee in his confirmation hearing that shares of Innate “were available to every single individual that was an investor at the time.”
However, according to Innate’s CEO, only a few US investors were allowed to buy the stock at a discounted price. The deal was available to all Australian and New Zealand-based shareholders.
The Journal reported that fewer than 20 US investors purchased the stock, which was given at a 12% discount. Price’s total investment was worth between $50,000 and $100,000 according to the nominee’s financial disclosures.
Price was told about the company by fellow congressman Chris Collins, who had previously invested in the company. Collins told the Journal that he reached out to Price about the investment, inviting him to take part in the deal at a discounted price.
Price said in his testimony that he learned of the company from Collins and decided to make the investment after reading up about the company’s business.
Price also maintained at his hearing that his broker at Morgan Stanley executed his investments without his knowledge and he did not know what stocks he owned, however the active investment in Innate seems to contradict that statement.
Democrats have called on Price to be investigated for violations of the STOCK Act, which regulates investments made by members of Congress. Price and his spokespeople have maintained that there was nothing illegal or unethical about the investments.
Price has been involved in crafting legislation dealing with healthcare and his extensive investments in healthcare companies have come under fire.
A vote on Price’s nomination by the Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to take place on Tuesday.