The FBI and SEC are looking into stock trades made by Republican Sen. Bob Corker, a potential candidate to be vice president, the Wall Street Journal reported
Separately, the agencies are investigating real estate firm CBL and Associates Properties Inc. for accounting fraud, something for which Corker has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
However, Corker's sale of CBL stock is of interest to the FBI and SEC, the Journal reported.
Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, declined to comment to Politico
when asked if he had been contacted by the agencies. However, his office released a statement blaming Campaign for Accountability, a watchdog group, for bringing heat on the former Chattanooga, Tenn. mayor.
"A politically motivated special interest group that refuses to disclose its donors continues to make baseless charges against Sen. Corker, and we know that any effort to examine his actions will result in their smear campaign being discredited," spokeswoman Micah Johnson was quoted by Politico.
Corker is a friend of the Lebovitz family, which owns Chattanooga-based CBL, and has been the beneficiary of major campaign donations from the Lebovitzes and CBL executives, the Journal reported.
Corker has bought or sold CBL stock more than 70 times, according to the Journal. Thirty of those trades were valued between $1 million and $5 million and three were north of $5 million.
"Nobody at CBL has disclosed to (Corker) or to any other outside party any insider information, and we are unaware of any claim or allegation by any regulatory agency that suggests otherwise," CBL president and CEO Stephen Lebovitz told the Journal. "We strongly deny any such allegations."
Last fall, the Journal reported Corker had failed to report millions of dollars in assets and income, forcing the senior member of the Senate Banking Committee to revise years' worth of disclosure reports.
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